Differential responses of resistant and susceptible groundnut genotypes at cellular level to Ditylenchus africanus

13 November 2012

Ditylenchus africanus causes cellular breakdown in pod tissue of susceptible groundnut cultivars. The histopathology of this nematode on a resistant genotype was studied using light microscopy and compared with the histopathology of D. africanus on a susceptible genotype. Plants of breeding line PC254K1 and cv. Sellie were propagated in a glasshouse, inoculated with D. africanus at inoculum levels of 2000, 5000 and 7000 nematodes per plant and the pods were collected at 90, 120 and 150 days after planting. In contrast to the susceptible genotype, only a small number of nematodes were observed in restricted areas of the pod tissue of the resistant genotype. Furthermore, the resistant genotype showed neither external symptoms nor cellular breakdown in reaction to D. africanus. According to results of this study, the mechanism of resistance involved may be the inhibition of proper development, migration and reproduction of this nematode, thus preventing it building up to damaging population levels.