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Physiological and biochemical changes in different sugar beet genotypes infected with root-knot nematode


Ten genotypes of sugar beet plant either monogerm or multigerm seeds were screened under greenhouse conditions for both susceptibility and biochemical reaction to root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita. All the tested genotypes were susceptible to nematode infection according to the number of root galls and gall indices. All infected genotypes exhibited significant reduction in chlorophyll a, b and carotenoids compared to non-infected ones. The total indole acetic acid and total phenolic compounds contents (mean of both shoot and root) increased significantly in most infected genotypes compared to non-infected genotypes except Disk-01-99 and Monte Rosa as well as LP16 and LP15 genotypes, respectively. Also, total polyamine contents (putrescine, spermidine and spermine) showed significant increases in response to infection with nematodes in all genotypes. The same trend was observed in lipid peroxidation expressed with malondialdehyde content in all tested genotypes. Activities of polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase enzymes were also induced in most infected genotypes compared with non-infected genotypes. Generally, infection with RKNs induced the appearance of new protein bands at molecular masses 303, 288, 42 and 37 KDa in all infected genotypes. The differentiation in the appearance and/or disappearance of protein bands according to susceptibility to infection reflects the variation between genotypes in defense against infection.

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H2O2 :

Hydrogen peroxide


Indole acetic acid




Optical density


Phenyl alanine ammonia lyase


Para-dimethylamino-benzoic acid






Polyphenol oxidase




Root-knot nematodes


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase






Thiobarbituric acid


Trichloro acetic acid


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This work was funded by The National Research Centre through the project entitled “The development of integrated management to improve productivity (quantity and quality) of sugar beet”. Project No. 8040716 during 2007–2010.

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Correspondence to Amany A. Abd El-Monem.

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Communicated by B. Barna.

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Korayem, A.M., El-Bassiouny, H.M.S., Abd El-Monem, A.A. et al. Physiological and biochemical changes in different sugar beet genotypes infected with root-knot nematode. Acta Physiol Plant 34, 1847–1861 (2012).

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  • Auxins
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Nematodes
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Photosynthetic pigments
  • Polyamines
  • Sugar beet