Autoradiography of Developing Syncytia in Cotton Roots Infected with Meloidogyne incognita


  • R. A. Rohde
  • M. A. McClure


Cotton (Gos.tvpium hirsutum) seedlings, uniformly infected with Meloidogyne incognita, were exposed for periods of 1-15 days to a nutrient solution containing tritium-labelled thymidine. Syncytium formation began with the amalgamation of cells near the nematode head, and was followed by synchronized mitoses of the nuclei which had been incorporated into a single cell. Syncytial nuclei synthesized DNA in roots harvested 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 days after inoculation. Seedlings transferred from unlabelled to labelled nutrient solution 9 days after inoculation, and grown for 6 more days, contained some syncytial nuclei which did not become labelled. Giant-cell nuclei increased in size and, in many cases, all nuclei in one giant cell of a set showed active DNA synthesis at about the time the nematode molted to the adult stage. Key Words: root-knot nematode, giant cell, DNA synthesis.