Effects of Temperature on Rate of Feeding of the Plant Parasitic Nematodes Rotylenchus robustus , Xiphinema diversicaudatum , and Hemicycliophora conida

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Rotylenchus robustus, Xiphinema diversicaudatum, and Hemicycgiophora conida were observed feeding over a range of temperatures on perennial rye-grass (Lolium perenne) seedlings grown on agar plates. R. robustus fed between 0.5 and 42.5 C, X. diversicaudatum between 5.0 and 37.0 C and H. conida between 5.0 and 34.0 C. Between 10 and 25 C there was a direct relationship between temperature and rate of esophageal bulb contractions. Above 25 C the number of esophageal contractions/min did not increase at the same rate and eventually decreased. At the extremes of temperature range, abnormal feeding behaviour was observed. Rates of esophageal bulb contraction did not differ in the different nematode life stages and sexes, or at different feeding sites on the roots. Key Words: Perennial rye-grass, Lolium perenne, esophageal bulb contraction.

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