Interrelationships between Ethylene Production, Gall Formation, and Root-knot Nematode Development in Tomato Plants Infected with Meloidogyne javanica


  • I. Giazer
  • D. Orion
  • A. Apelbaum


Ethylene production was determined in excised tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) root cultures of Meloidogyne javanica susceptible and resistant cultivars infected with M. javanica. Uninfected cultivars produced very low amounts of ethylene. Relatively high amounts of ethylene were produced by the infected susceptible cultivars. Peak production of 1.6 n moles * g root[sup-]¹ * h¹[sup-] occurred between 9 and 16 days after inoculation (DAI). The period of high ethylene production coincided with that of rapid increase in gall weight. Low amounts of ethylene were also released by the infected resistant cultivar between 9 and 12 DAI, which follows the hypersensitivity reaction. Ethylene production in infected intact plants during the period of rapid gall growth was twice as much as in uninfected plants during the same time. Exposing excised root cultures to 0.5 or l0 ppm ethylene accelerated the rate of increase in gall weight of M. javanica infected roots. In contrast, overall root growth was inhibited by these treatments, compared to infected roots which were not exposed to ethylene. Key words: physiology, growth, inhibition, interactions, host-parasite relations.