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New Zealand Plant Protection 59 (2006): 166-171

Efficacy of root digestion and maceration in determining abundance of root-inhabiting nematodes

T.C. Rohan, N.L. Bell, N.D.F. Lee and L.T. Aalders


Alternatives were sought to the standard root staining and plate counting technique for determining abundance of root-inhabiting plant parasitic nematodes, as it is time consuming and laborious. The use of KOH, cellulase, pectinase, EDTA, sodium hypochlorite bleach, root staining or tap water alone or in combination with heating or maceration in a Waring blender was investigated as tools for extracting the root knot (Meloidogyne), clover cyst (Heterodera) and lesion (Pratylenchus) nematodes from white clover (Trifolium repens) roots. Abundance of nematodes extracted from, and remaining in, roots after maceration was determined to assess the efficacy of the various treatments. The best method involved staining roots by the standard method followed by a 10 second pulse of blender maceration. For seedlings, extraction of M. trifoliophila nematodes by the best maceration method was not significantly different to that of the standard method but macerated samples took ca 6x less time to assess than the standard method.

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