EFFECT OF PLANT AND MICROBIAL CHITINASES ON THE EGGS AND JUVENILES OF MELOIDOGYNE HAPLA CHITWOOD (NEMATODA: TYLENCHIDA) BY C. F. MERCER, D. R. GREENWOOD and J. L. GRANT DSIR Plant Protection, Private Bag, Palmerston North, New Zealand Chitinases from Phaseolus vulgaris, Serratia marcescens and Streptomyces griseus were compared for their effects on eggs and juveniles of Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood. Increased hatch rates of nematode eggs were observed on incubation with chitinase from all three sources. After treat- ment with chitinases from S. marcescens and St. griseus many of the eggs remaining became spherical with a concomitant increase in the number of dead juveniles. Egg mortality was observed with purified P. vulgaris chitinase at concentrations of 17 µg protein/ml and above. The results suggest that exogenous chitinases cause premature hatch of nematode eggs and could be used as an aid in the control of nematodes. Keywords: root knot nematode, chitinase, egg viability, premature hatch. Chitinases are hydrolytic enzymes responsible for degrading chitin. Chitin is present as a structural element in the body wall of arthropods, the egg shell of nematodes and the cell wall of certain fungi (Muzzarelli, 1977). Chitinases are present in several taxa. Their role in soil
Nematologica – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1992
Keywords: egg viability; root knot nematode; premature hatch; chitinase
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