Re-evaluation of the life-cycle of the nematode-parasitic bacterium Pasteuria penetrans in root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp.
Davies, Keith G.
Opperman, Charles H.
Comparisons of the growth of Pasteuria penetrans in adult root-knot nematode females infected with P. penetrans dissected from the roots of tomato plants were undertaken using bright-field and scanning electron microscopy. Samples of infected females were nutritionally compromised by maintaining them in sterile saline at 30 degrees C for different periods of time following their removal from the root system. Observations of these females maintained in saline revealed a series of growth stages of Pasteuria hitherto not documented, consisting of rhizoids, rod-like bacilli and granular masses. A new life-cycle for Pasteuria is described consisting of three phases: Phase I: attachment and germination; Phase II: rhizoid production and exponential growth; and Phase III: sporogenesis. These newly observed stages of the life cycle show a high degree of similarity to the developmental stages seen in other Bacillus spp.