Life Cycle, Ultrastructure, and Host Specificity of the North American Isolate of Pasteuria that Parasitizes the Soybean Cyst Nematode, Heterodera glycines


  • N. Atibalentja
  • B. P. Jakstys
  • G. R. Noel


heterodera glycines, host specificity, life cycle, pasteuria spp., soybean cyst nematode, taxonomy, ultrastructure


Light and transmission electron microscopy were used to investigate the life cycle and ultrastructure of an undescribed isolate of Pasteuria that parasitizes the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines. Studies also were conducted to determine the host specificity of Pasteuria. The endospores that attached to the cuticle of second-stage juveniles (J2) of H. glycines in soil did not germinate until the encumbered nematodes invaded soybean roots. Thereafter, the bacterium developed and completed its life cycle only in females. The stages of endosporogenesis were typical of Pasteuria spp. The mature endospore, like that of P. nishizawae, the only other Pasteuria known to infect H. glycines, produces an epicortical layer that completely surrounds the cortex, an outer spore coat that tapers progressively from the top to the base of the central body, and a double basal adhesion layer. However, subtle differences exist between the Pasteuria from North America and P. nishizawae with regard to size of the central body, nature and function of the mesosomes observed in the earlier stages of endosporogenesis, and appearance of the fibers lining the basal adhesion layer and the exosporium of the mature endospore. Endospores of the North American Pasteuria attached to J2 of H. schachtii, H. trifolii, and H. lespedezae but not to Meloidogyne arenaria race 1, Tylenchorhynchus nudus, and Labronema sp. Results from this study indicate that the North American Pasteuria is more similar to P. nishizawae than to any other known member of the genus. Additional evidence from comparative analysis of 16S rDNA sequences is needed to clarify whether these two Pasteuria belong to the same species.