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Discovery of cytokinins (plant hormones) produced by infective juveniles of cyst and root knot nematodes

The presence of different types of cytokinins was analysed in exudates and lysates of stage-2 juveniles of Heterodera schachtii and Meloidogyne incognita and in mixed stages of Caenorhabditis elegans. For all species, cytokinins were detected in lysates and exudates in which benzyladenine and zeatin-type cytokinins were the most prominent forms. The production of cytokinins by Meloidogyne was much higher than by Heterodera, and the detected levels were in a range which interfered with the physiological activities of the host plant. The presence of 5-methoxy- N,N dimethyltryptamine hydrogen oxalate did not affect hormone production by H. schachtii, whereas resorcinol slightly stimulated hormone production by M. incognita. The exuded cytokinins may play a role in feeding site induction, more particularly in cell cycle activation and in establishing the feeding site as a nutrient sink.

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