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Influence of root exudates and soil on attachment of Pasteuria penetrans to root-knot nematode Meloidogyne arenaria.
Chang Liu: University of Georgia; Patricia Timper: USDA ARS; P. Ji: University of Georgia
<div><i>Pasteuria penetrans </i>is a parasite of root-knot nematode (<i>Meloidogyne </i>spp.). Spores of <i>P. penetrans </i>attach to the cuticle of second-stage juvenile (J2) and subsequently sterilize infected females. This study looked at different factors that influence spore attachment of <i>P. penetrans</i> to <i>M. arenaria</i>. Incubating J2 with root exudates reduced spore attachment compared to incubation with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), suggesting that root exudates altered or blocked spore recognition domains on the nematode surface. Spore attachment was equally reduced following exposure to root exudates from both host and non-host of <i>M. arenaria</i>, indicating there is common signal that affects spore attachment. Root exudates reduced spore attachment more in sterilized soil than in natural soil. Sterilization may have eliminated microbes that consume root exudates. The effect of root exudates on spore attachment was greater in sand than in clay. Clay is likely to adsorb more components from root exudates which may affect spore attachment. Results in this study provide valuable information on the interaction between <i>P. penetrans </i>and its host nematode in the root zone of plants and may help improve biological control.</div>

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