Observations on the biology of the potato-root eelworm, Heterodera schachtii Schmidt

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Abstract

Results are presented of experiments on the effect of low temperature and of soil type upon the potato-root eelworm, Heterodera schachtii.

In some experiments exposure of cysts, to low temperatures had a definite lethal effect, but in others the cysts were unharmed. The reason for this variation was not apparent. Exposure of the larvae of die nematode to even a relatively slight degree of frost resulted in the death of the larvae, provided mat die surrounding medium was completely frozen. In this respect the larvae appear to differ markedly from those of the beet strain of H. schachtii. That the larvae had actually been killed was shown by the fact that they produced no cysts on the roots of potato plants and also by their almost immediate absorption of iodine.

It was confirmed that H. schachtii cysts produced on the roots of potato plants grown in a heavy medium are smaller in size and fewer in number than those formed on the roots of plants grown in a light medium. The heavy medium used was pure clay, the light one pure sand, while equal numbers of eelworm larvae served in each case as inoculum. The difference in cyst size was significant, and fewer larvae emerged from the cysts formed in clay than from those produced in sand.

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