Fine Structure of the Cone of Heterodera schachtii with Emphasis on Musculature and Fenestration


  • D. A. Cordero C.
  • J. G. Baldwin


Fine structure of the posterior cone of monoxenically cultured Heterodera schachtii is examined. The cone is not evident at the end of the fourth molt, but as the female matures the cone elongates, vulval lips enlarge, and cuticular patterns on the lips are modified. Body wall cuticle (BW) of the cone includes layers A and B, but C is modified or replaced by a network of fibers which correspond to the semifenestrae. Vaginal lining is continuous with the BW and terminates at the cuticular underbridge near the uterus. Vaginal musculature includes 48 dilatores vaginae (DV) as well as a sphincter vaginae (SV). The DV include a contractile and noncontractile region with abundant actin and glycogen. A distinct anal depressor muscle is present. In the cyst, only bullae, the underbridge, vagina lining, and traces of the SV muscle persist. Detailed morphology of the cone of H. schachtii provides insight into characters which, when compared with other heteroderines, will be useful in phylogenetic analysis of Heteroderinae. Key words: cone, cyst, dilatores vaginae, fenestrae, fluorescent phalloidin, Heterodera schachtii, monoxenic culture, phylogeny, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), sphincter vaginae, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), underbridge, vagina.