Physiological Response of Resistant and Susceptible Vitis vinifiera Cultivars to Meloidogyne incognita


  • H. Melakeberhan
  • H. Ferris
  • J. M. Dias


The effect of Meloidogyne incognita on growth, general physiological response, and the concentration of reducing and nonreducing sugars at the nematode feeding sites of French Colombard (susceptible) and Thompson Seedless (moderately resistant) Vitis vinifera cultivars was studied up to 2,100 degree-days (DD-base 10 C). Nematode stress dosage, measured as the product of cumulative number of juveniles and females and their total energy (calories) demand, accounted for up to 15 and 10% of the energy assimilated by French Colombard and Thompson Seedless plants, respectively. Total leaf area, total carbon dioxide fixed, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and internal leaf CO[sub2] concentration were not affected, but energy assimilated into plant tissue and respiration were decreased by nematode infection in both cultivars. Energy consumed by nematodes accounted for most of the difference in total energy assimilated between infected and uninfected plants on French Colombard but not on Thompson Seedless, suggesting that the resistant cultivar may be using more energy to curtail the nematode's activity. Nematodes did not affect the concentration of reducing sugars, but the concentration of nonreducing sugars increased in French Colombard and decreased in Thompson Seedless. This indicates that there was more translocation of photosynthate to the feeding sites of the susceptible than to those of the resistant cultivar, and may explain why M. incognita causes more damage to French Colombard than to Thompson Seedless. Key words: assimilation, energy partitioning, Meloidogyne incognita, nematode energy demand, photosynthesis, respiration, sugar, Vitis vinifera.