Effect of Ammonium Ions on Egg Hatching and Second-Stage Juveniles of Meloidogyne incognita in Axenic Tomato Root Culture


  • . Sudirman
  • J. M. Webster


Eggs, either dispersed or in masses, and second-stage juveniles (J2) of Meloidogyne incognita were exposed to different concentrations of ammonium ions in a nutrient agar medium upon which excised tomato roots were growing. Egg hatch and J2 penetration of the roots was slowed or inhibited at high (54 and 324 mg/liter) but not at low (1.5 and 9 mg/liter) concentrations of ammonium nitrate. The effect of ammonium on J2 appeared to be temporary and reversible. High potassium nitrate concentration (1,116 mg/liter) did not modify egg hatch or J2 penetration. There was no adverse effect from the high ammonium nitrate concentrations or an equivalent potassium nitrate concentration on root dry weight. Ammonium ions influence nematodes both directly and via plant roots and do so independently of microbial organisms. Key words: ammonium ion, axenic culture, hatching, Meloidogyne incognita, root-knot nematode.