Studies on Anhydrobiosis of Pratylenchus thornei


  • I. Glazer
  • D. Orion


Large populations of Pratylenchus thornei, a winter pest of cereals, legumes, and potatoes in the northern Negev region of Israel, survive 7-8 months of summer drought and return to full activity at the beginning of the rainy season. To demonstrate that it survives the summer in an anhydrobiotic state, all developmental stages of P. thornei were exposed to gradually reduced relative humidity (RH) using glycerin water solutions. At 97.7% RH the nematodes were coiled and able to survive exposure to 0% RH. About 40% of artificially desiccated nematodes could be reactivated by gradually increasing the humidity to the final water environment. Desiccated nematodes could withstand temperatures up to 40 C. Reactivated individuals showed intestines apparently devoid of reserve materials. Only 3% survived three cycles of desiccation and reactivation. P. thornei reactivated after anhydrobiosis multiplied twice as much within Vicia sativa roots as did fresh nematodes.