The Comparative Cellular Architecture of the Female Gonoduct Among Tylenchoidea (Nematoda: Tylenchina)


  • W. Bert
  • M. Claeys
  • G. Borgonie


Belonolaimidae, electron microscopy, gonoduct, Hoplolaimidae, Meloinema, morphology, taxonomy, TEM, Tylenchidae, ultrastructure


The cellular architecture of the female gonoduct of 68 nematode populations representing 42 species belonging to Tylenchidae, Belonolaimidae, Hoplolaimidae and Meloinema is shown to have an overall similarity in cellular gonoduct structure. The oviduct consists of two rows of four cells; the spermatheca is comprised of 10 to 20 cells, and the uterus cells, except in the case of Psilenchus, are arranged in four (Tylenchidae) or three (Belonolaimidae, Hoplolaimidae and Meloinema) regular rows. Although the genus Meloinema is classified within Meloidogynidae, its spermatheca is clearly hoplolaimid-like and lacks the spherical shape with lobe-like protruding cells typical of Meloidogyne. Detailed morphology of expelled gonoducts may provide a valuable character set in phylogenetic analysis, and the cellular morphology of the spermatheca appears to be a distinguishing feature at species level, especially in the genera Tylenchus and Geocenamus. Ultrastructural data on the oviduct-spermatheca region of Meloidogyne incognita complement light-microscopic (LM) results. The combination of LM of expelled organs and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on selected sections is put forward as a powerful tool to combine three-dimensional knowledge with ultrastructural detail.