Gametogenesis and the Chromosomes of Two Root-knot Nematodes, Meloidogyne graminicola and M. naasi


  • A. C. Triantaphyllou


Oogenesis and spermatogenesis were studied in populations of M. graminicola and M. naasi from which the species were originally described. Maturation of oocytes and spermatocytes in both species was by normal meiosis. The haploid chromosome number determined during the first and second maturation divisions was n = 18 with no variation. The somatic chromosome number determined in early cleavage divisions and, to a limited extent, in oogonial divisions was 2n = 36. Reproduction was regularly by meiotic parthenogenesis in both species. Re-establishment of the somatic chromosome number in mature oocytes, apparently took place through fusion of the second polar nucleus with the egg pronucleus. Occasional reproduction by cross-fertilization was demonstrated in M. graminicola and it is suspected in M. naasi in cultures with abundant males. Phylogenetic relationships in the family Heteroderidae are discussed in the light of the new cytological information. The peculiar behavior of nucleoli persisting during metaphase, anaphase and telophase of cleavage divisions is reported.