Morphometrics, Illustration, and Histopathology of Sphaeronema rumicis on Cottonwood in Utah


  • N. Vovlas
  • R. N. Inserra


The morphology of a population of Sphaeronema rumicis Kir'yanova found on cottonwood in Utah is illustrated by light and scanning electron micrographs, as well as by drawings. This is the first report of males of S. rumicis, a species also not known previously to occur in North America. S. rumicis females on cottonwood in the United States were smaller than those found by Kir'yanova on sorrel in the USSR. Females and second-stage juveniles (J2) from the United States had slightly shorter stylets than did females and J2 from the USSR. Males were vermiform and had degenerate esophagi. On secondary cottonwood roots S. rumicis induces formation of a syncytium originating from proliferated pericyclic cells. Thick outer walls, wall protuberances, absence of cell wall ingrowths, dense cytoplasm, and hypertrophied nuclei were the main characteristics of syncytia observed in S. rumicis-infected cottonwood roots. Key words: cottonwood, histopathology, host response, morphology, parasitic habit, Populus angustifolia, scanning electron microscope, semiendoparasitic nematode, Sphaeronema rumicis, syncytium.