In Vitro Culture and Feeding Behavior of Belonolaimus longicaudatus on Excised Zea mays Roots


  • Xiang Huang
  • J. Ole Becker


A greenhouse population of the sting nematode, Belonolaimus longicaudatus, obtained from an infested golf course in California's Coachella Valley, was surface-decontaminated and cuhured on excised roots of Zea mays supported by Gamborg's B5 medium. At 26-27ºC the females laid eggs, and newly emerged juveniles of the second generation completed three molts within 29 days after egg deposition. Sixty days after inoculation with 60 females and 40 males, an average of 529 nematodes and 83 eggs were recovered from the culture. The feeding process consisted of probing, stylet penetration, ingestion, and stylet retraction. Feeding seemed to be necessary before egg deposition or molting occurred. The sting nematode was observed feeding exclusively as an ectoparasite and preferably at the region of cell division and elongation. Vigorous feeding by many nematodes usually caused discoloration of root tips and termination of growth. Key words: Belonolaimus longicaudatus, corn root culture, feeding behavior, in vitro culture, nematode, sting nematode, Zea mays.