Infective second-stage juveniles (J2) of Meloidogyne spp. migrate towards host roots, which depends on several factors, including root exudates and soil temperature. Although Meloidogyne enterolobii is a highly virulent nematode that affects major agricultural crops worldwide, there is limited ecological data about it. The objective of this study was to determine the J2 migration pattern vertically in 14-cm long segmented soil columns towards tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and marigold (Tagetes patula) roots, each grown at two soil temperatures (20 or 26ºC). Bottomless cups with tomatoes or marigolds were attached to the top of each column; cups with no plants were used as untreated controls. Juveniles (1,000/column) were injected into a hole located 1 cm from the bottom of each column. The apparatuses were placed in growth chambers at 20 or 26ºC, and J2 were allowed to migrate for 3, 6, 9, or 12 days after injection (DAI). At each harvest, J2 were extracted from each ring of the columns and counted to compare their distribution, and root systems were stained to observe root penetration. M. enterolobii migrated over 13 cm vertically 3 DAI regardless of temperature, even without plant stimuli. The vertical migration was greater at 26ºC, where 60% of active J2 were found at distances >13 cm at 12 DAI. Temperature did not affect root penetration. Overall, a greater number of J2 was observed in tomato roots, and root penetration increased over time.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other