Histopathology of Okra and Ridgeseed Spurge Infected with Meloidodera charis


  • Charles M. Heald


Histological observations of okra Abelomoschus esculentus 'Clemson Spineless' and ridgeseed spurge Euphorbia glyptosperma (a common weed) infected with Meloidodera charis Hopper, indicated that the juvenile nematode penetrated the roots intercellularly. Within 5 days after plant emergence the nematode positioned its body in the cortical tissue parallel to the vascular system. By 10 days after plant emergence the juvenile had extended its head into the vascular system and initiated giant cell formation, generally in protophloem tissue. Giant cells were one celled and usually multi-nucleate. Eggs were observed in the female body 30 days after plants emerged and juveniles were found within the female body by 40 days. Nematode development progressed equally in the root system of either host plant. Generally, throughout the nematode's life cycle its entire body remained inside the cortical tissue of okra. In ridgeseed spurge, however, the posterior portion of the female erupted through the host epidermis as early as 15 days after plant emergence; only the head and neck remained embedded in the host. The nematode caused extensive tissue disruption in the cortical and vascular system of both plant species. Corn, Zea mays, was another host of the nematode. Key words: Abelomoschus esculentus, Euphorbia glyptosperma, new host, host range, corn.