Effect of Soil Texture and the Clay Component on Migration of Meloidogyne incognita Second-stage Juveniles


  • Jean-Claude Prot
  • S. D. Van Gundy


The vertical migration of M. incognita juveniles introduced at 20 cm from the roots was studied in five natural soils, 100% silica sand, 95% silica sand with 5% clay, 90% silica sand with 10% clay, and 95% silica sand with 5% clay as a concentrated layer. In natural soils the percentage of juveniles capable of migrating 20 cm and penetrating the roots decreased when the percentage of clay and silt increased. No migration occurred in silica sand without clay particles; when 5 or 10% of clay were mixed to silica sand, 34 and 26%, respectively, of the juveniles were able to migrate 20 cm. Clay separated from silica sand in which tomatoes were grown was attractive for juveniles. It is suggested that clay particles aid in the migration of root-knot juveniles over long distances to plant roots by absorbing and holding root exudates or bacterial by-products which form a concentration gradient enabling nematodes to locate roots. Key words: attraction, nematode movement.