Abscisic Acid and Ethylene Increase in Heterodera avenae-infected Tolerant or Intolerant Oat Cultivars


  • K. M. Volkmar


The relationship between root stunting caused by the cereal cyst nematode and levels of two root growth inhibiting hormones, abscisic acid and ethylene, was investigated in aseptically cultured root segments and in intact roots of two oat cultivars differing in tolerance to the nematode. Cultured root segments of oat cultivars New Zealand Cape (tolerant) and Sual (intolerant) were inoculated with sterilized Heterodera avenae second-stage juveniles. Suppressed growth of root axes and emerged laterals following nematode penetration corresponded to an increase in abscisic acid and ethylene in roots of both intolerant and tolerant cultivars. When the experiment was repeated on intact root systems, nematodes retarded root growth of Sual more than New Zealand Cape despite an increase in ABA and ethylene in both cultivars. Abscisic acid and (or) ethylene may be involved in growth inhibition of H. avenae-infected roots but appear to play no direct role in determining tolerance. Key words: abscisic acid, Awna sativa, axenic culture, cereal tryst nematode, ethylene, Heterodera avenae, nematode, oat, plant hormone, root elongation, root explant, tolerance.