In vitro feeding of Xiphinema brevicolle, X. index and Longidorus africanus on roots of host seedlings is described. Both Xiphinema spp. fed mainly along roots rather than at tips and up to several days at a single site. Feeding of L. africanus was confined to root tips and lasted up to 15 min. No visible short term reaction of roots parasitized by the Xiphinema spp. could be discerned, but both swelling and cessation of growth of root tips were observed within 20 hr after feeding by L. africanus. Long-term (12-month) symptoms on roots of several host plants caused by cultured populations of X. brevicolle, X. index, X. italiae, L. africanus and L. brevicaudatus are described. All the Xiphinema spp. caused a thinning and distinct darkening of root systems and, at some sites, a breakdown of the cortex. Both species of Longidorus caused stubby and swollen root tips. Root symptom severity was in proportion to nematode population levels.
Keywords: Feeding; Longidorus africanus; Symptoms; X. index; Xiphinema brevicolle.