Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Meloidogyne incognita
(root-knot nematode)

Eisenback J D, 2020. Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI. DOI:10.1079/ISC.33245.20210200734

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Datasheet

Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode)

Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, full body image.
TitleMale
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, full body image.
Copyright©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, full body image.
MaleMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, full body image.©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, spicule.
TitleMale
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, spicule.
Copyright©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, spicule.
MaleMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, spicule.©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
TitleMale
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
Copyright©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
MaleMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
TitleMale
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
Copyright©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
MaleMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
TitleMale
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
Copyright©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.
MaleMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); male, perineal pattern.©Pest & Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) - CC BY 3.0 AU
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); female. (Reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
TitleFemale
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); female. (Reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Copyright©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); female. (Reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
FemaleMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); female. (Reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
TitleCuticular patterns
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Copyright©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Cuticular patternsMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females.
(reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
TitleCuticular patterns
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Copyright©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females.
(reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Cuticular patternsMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
TitleCuticular patterns
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Copyright©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Cuticular patternsMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
TitleCuticular patterns
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Copyright©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)
Cuticular patternsMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); posterior cuticular patterns of females. (reproduced from Orton Williams KJ, 1973. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 2, No.18. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.)©CAB International
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); symptoms in potato (Solanum tuberosum).
TitleSymptoms
CaptionMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); symptoms in potato (Solanum tuberosum).
Copyright©Elizabeth Bush, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University/via Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); symptoms in potato (Solanum tuberosum).
SymptomsMeloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode); symptoms in potato (Solanum tuberosum).©Elizabeth Bush, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University/via Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White, 1919) Chitwood 1949

Preferred Common Name

  • root-knot nematode

Other Scientific Names

  • Meloidogyne acrita (Chitwood, 1949) Esser, Perry and Taylor, 1976
  • Meloidogyne incognita acrita Chitwood, 1949
  • Meloidogyne wartellei Golden & Birchfield, 1978
  • Oxyuris incognita Kofoid & White, 1919

International Common Names

  • English: root-knot eelworm; southern root-knot nematode
  • Spanish: anguillula de las raices; nemátodo agallador; nemátodo de la raiz; nemátodo de las agallas; nemátodo de los nódulos de las raíces; nemátodo nódulador; nemátodo sureno de quiste (Mexico)
  • French: anguillule a noeud de la patate; anguillule des racines; nématode à galles; nématode cécidogène; nématode des galles des racines; nématode des racines
  • Portuguese: nematóide das galhas

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: rodgalle-nematode
  • Germany: knoellchen-aelchen; knoellchen-nematode; suedliches wurzelgallen-aelchen
  • Hungary: gyökércsomós fonálférgek
  • Italy: anguillula delle radici; anguillula gallicola delle radici
  • Japan: satumaimo-nekobu-sentyu
  • South Africa: Wortelknop aalwurm
  • Sudan: nematoda bengkak akar
  • Turkey: kok ur nematodu

EPPO code

  • MELGIN (Meloidogyne incognita)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Nematoda
  •             Family: Meloidogynidae
  •                 Genus: Meloidogyne
  •                     Species: Meloidogyne incognita

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Meloidogyne species may be difficult to identify with certainty due to their inherent variability. Adult females and infective juveniles should be examined before making an identification. Male characters are also useful if they are available for examination, because some populations may not produce males, but they may be stimulated to produce males by putting the host plant under stress (Snyder et al., 2006). 

Description

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Female

Endoparasitic, body pear-shaped, pearly white. Stylet knobs usually rounded, sometimes drawn out laterally. Distance of the dorsal esophageal gland to the base of the stylet is short, 2-3 µm. Excretory pore at level of or posterior to stylet knobs, 10-20 annules posterior to the anterior end. Posterior perineal pattern variable. Typical pattern 'incognita type'; with striae closely spaced, very wavy to zig-zag especially dorsally and laterally. Dorsal arch high, squarish. Lateral field not clear, sometimes marked by breaks in striae, broken ends often forked, pattern merging into body striae. Alternate 'Acrita type'; with striae smoother, more widely spaced (or with coarse, widely spaced striae separated by fine, closely spaced striae visible for short distances). Dorsal arch variable, may be flattened at top with the overall appearance of a trapezoid. Striae often forked along a 'lateral line'. Limits of pattern more or less well-defined. Aberrant patterns occur.

Male

Vermiform, 1-2 mm in length. Head not offset, distinct head cap on top of a large head annule that may be further divided into 1-3 incomplete, smaller annules appearing stepped in outline in lateral view. Body clearly annulated. Conus of stylet longer than shaft, stylet knobs prominent, usually of greater width than length, with flat, concave anterior margins. Excretory pore at level of posterior end of isthmus with hemizonid usually 0-5 annules anterior. Lateral field with 4 incisures, outer bands areolated, inner band rarely cross-striated except at posterior end. Testes 1 or 2. Tail bluntly rounded, terminus unstriated. Phasmids at cloaca level or just posterior. Spicules slightly curved, gubernaculum crescentic.

Second-Stage Juvenile

Vermiform, less than 0.5 mm in length. Head not offset, truncate cone shape in lateral view, sub-hemispherical in dorso-ventral view. Head-cap wide containing 2-3 annules. Stylet knobs prominent, rounded. Hemizonid 3 annules long just anterior to excretory pore. Lateral field with 4 incisures, outer bands areolated. Rectum inflated. Tail tapering to subacute terminus, annulations coarsening posteriorly.

Measurements (after Whitehead, 1968)


20 females: L = 500-723 (609) µm; width = 331-520 (415) µm; stylet (10) = 13-16 (14) µm; width stylet base (10) = 3-5 (4) µm; dorsal oesophageal gland orifice (8) = 2-4 (3) µm behind stylet base; length median bulb (10) = 37-63 (46) µm; width median bulb (10) = 31-49 (39) µm; length median bulb valves (10) = 13-16 (14) µm; width median bulb valves (10) = 11-13 (12) µm.

14 males: L = 1108-1953 (1583) µm; a = 31.4-55.4 (46.3); length head (13) = 6.8-8.6 (7.9) µm; stylet (13) = 23.0-32.7 (25.0) µm; width stylet base (13) = 4.7-6.8 (5.8) µm; dorsal oesophageal gland orifice (4) = 1.4-2.5 (2.1) µm behind stylet base; b' (12) = 13.8-20.5 (17.4); c (13) = 97-255 (146); length median bulb (12) = 14.4-25.2 (20.0) µm; width median bulb (12) = 8.6-15.8 (11.2) µm; length median bulb valves (12) = 5.8-9.0 (7.2) µm; spicules (length of arc) (12) = 28.8-40.3 (35.2) µm; gubernaculum (7) = 9.4-13.7 (11.2) µm.

25 second-stage juveniles: L = 337-403 (371) µm; a = 24.9-31.5 (28.3); b (21) = 2.02-3.14 (2.36); b' (24) = 6.4-8.4 (7.1); length tail = 38-55 (46) µm; d = 4.0-5.6 (4.9); c = 6.9-10.6 (8.1); length body to middle of genital primordium = 212-247 (230) µm; stylet = 9.6-11.7 (10.5) µm; length median bulb (24) = 10.1-12.9 (11.3) µm; width median bulb (24) = 5.8-8.3 (7.3) µm; length median bulb valves (22) = 3.6-6.47 (5.2) µm.

Distribution

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M. incognita has also been recorded from the following areas of protected agriculture; for example, around temperate research stations and other areas of intensive horticulture. In some cases the nematodes have been able to overwinter due to mild winters and could be expanding their geographical range.

Armenia (Pogosyan and Karapetyan, 1976), Heilongjiang and Ningxia in China (Yang et al., 1991), Hokkaido in Japan (Yamada and Takakura, 1975), Belarus (Gladkaya, 1981), Estonia (Pallum, 1972), Latvia (Rasina, 1970), Lithuania (Rudzyavichene et al., 1975), Macedonia (Krnjaic, 1977), Moldavia (Batyr and Kozhokaru, 1985), Poland (Brzeski et al., 1978), Romania (Romascu et al., 1974), European part of Russia (Kozhokaru, 1972; Gushchin and Efremenko, 1975; Mar'enko, 1989), Siberia (Shiabova, 1977), Ukraine (Timchenko, 1981) and UK (IIP, 1991).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 17 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresent
AngolaPresent, Widespread
BeninPresent2011
BotswanaPresent2004
Burkina FasoPresent
Cabo VerdePresent
CameroonPresent
Central African RepublicPresent1964
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent, Widespread
Côte d'IvoirePresent
EgyptPresent, Widespread
EritreaPresent2013
EthiopiaPresent
GambiaPresent, Widespread
GhanaPresent, Widespread
GuineaPresent
KenyaPresent
LiberiaPresent, Widespread
LibyaPresent, Widespread
MadagascarPresent, Widespread
MalawiPresent, Widespread
MaliPresent2019
MauritaniaPresent
MauritiusPresent, Widespread
MoroccoPresent, Widespread
MozambiquePresent
NigerPresent, Widespread
NigeriaPresent, Widespread
RéunionPresent, Widespread
SenegalPresent, Widespread
SeychellesPresent
Sierra LeonePresent
SomaliaPresent, Localized
South AfricaPresent, Widespread
SudanPresent, Localized
TanzaniaPresent, Widespread
TogoPresent
TunisiaPresent, Localized
UgandaPresent, Widespread
ZambiaPresent, Widespread
ZimbabwePresent, Widespread

Asia

AfghanistanPresent2018
ArmeniaPresent
AzerbaijanPresent1982
BangladeshPresent, Widespread
BruneiPresent
ChinaPresent, Widespread
-AnhuiPresent
-FujianPresent
-GuangdongPresent
-GuangxiPresent
-GuizhouPresent
-HainanPresent
-HebeiPresent
-HeilongjiangPresent
-HenanPresent
-HubeiPresent
-HunanPresent
-Inner MongoliaPresent
-JiangsuPresent
-JiangxiPresent
-QinghaiPresent
-ShaanxiPresent
-ShandongPresent
-SichuanPresent
-YunnanPresent
-ZhejiangPresent
GeorgiaPresent
IndiaPresent, Localized
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresent, Widespread
-Andhra PradeshPresent
-Arunachal PradeshPresent
-AssamPresent
-BiharPresent
-ChandigarhPresent, Widespread
-ChhattisgarhPresent
-DelhiPresent
-GujaratPresent
-HaryanaPresent
-Himachal PradeshPresent, Localized
-Jammu and KashmirPresent
-KarnatakaPresent
-KeralaPresent, Widespread
-Madhya PradeshPresent, Widespread
-MaharashtraPresent
-ManipurPresent
-MeghalayaPresent
-OdishaPresent
-PunjabPresent
-RajasthanPresent
-SikkimPresent
-Tamil NaduPresent
-TripuraPresent
-Uttar PradeshPresent
-UttarakhandPresent
-West BengalPresent, Widespread
IndonesiaPresent
-JavaPresent, Widespread
-SumatraPresent, Widespread
IranPresent
IraqPresent
IsraelPresent, Widespread
JapanPresent
-HokkaidoPresent
-HonshuPresent, Widespread
-KyushuPresent
-Ryukyu IslandsPresent
-ShikokuPresent
JordanPresent
KazakhstanPresent
KyrgyzstanPresent
LebanonPresent, Widespread
MalaysiaPresent
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresent
-SabahPresent
-SarawakPresent
MongoliaPresent
MyanmarPresent
NepalPresent, Widespread
OmanPresent
PakistanPresent
PhilippinesPresent
Saudi ArabiaPresent, Widespread
SingaporePresent
South KoreaPresent
Sri LankaPresent, Widespread
SyriaPresent
TaiwanPresent
TajikistanPresent
ThailandPresent
TurkeyPresent
TurkmenistanPresent, Widespread
UzbekistanPresent, Widespread
VietnamPresent, Widespread
YemenPresent, Widespread

Europe

AlbaniaPresent, Localized
BelarusPresent, Localized
BelgiumPresentBotanical garden at Ghent University.
Bosnia and HerzegovinaPresent
BulgariaPresent, Localized
CyprusPresent, Localized
CzechiaPresent
EstoniaPresent
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPresent
FrancePresent, Widespread
GermanyPresent, Localized
GreecePresent, Localized
-CretePresent
HungaryPresent, Localized
IcelandPresent
ItalyPresent
-SicilyPresent
LatviaPresent, Localized
LithuaniaPresent, Localized
MaltaPresent
MoldovaPresent
MontenegroPresent
NetherlandsPresent
North MacedoniaPresent
PolandPresent
PortugalPresent, Widespread
-AzoresPresent
RomaniaPresent
RussiaPresent
-Central RussiaPresent
-Northern RussiaPresent
-Russian Far EastPresent
-Southern RussiaPresent
-Western SiberiaPresent
SerbiaPresentBac?ki Vinogradi, Vojvodina Province
Serbia and MontenegroPresent
SlovakiaPresent
SloveniaPresent
SpainPresent, Widespread
-Canary IslandsPresent, Localized
SwitzerlandPresent
UkrainePresent
United KingdomPresent
-ScotlandPresent

North America

Antigua and BarbudaPresent
BarbadosPresent, Widespread
BelizePresent
BermudaPresent, Widespread
CanadaPresent
-OntarioPresent
-QuebecAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
Costa RicaPresent, Widespread
CubaPresent, Widespread
DominicaPresent
Dominican RepublicPresent, Widespread
El SalvadorPresent, Widespread
GuadeloupePresent, Widespread
GuatemalaPresent, Widespread
HaitiPresent, Widespread
HondurasPresent, Widespread
JamaicaPresent, Widespread
MartiniquePresent
MexicoPresent, Widespread
MontserratPresent, Widespread
NicaraguaPresent, Widespread
PanamaPresent, Widespread
Puerto RicoPresent, Widespread
Saint LuciaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresent, Widespread
Trinidad and TobagoPresent, Widespread
United StatesPresent
-AlabamaPresent, Widespread
-ArizonaPresent, Widespread
-ArkansasPresent, Widespread
-CaliforniaPresent, Widespread
-ConnecticutPresent, Widespread
-FloridaPresent, Widespread
-GeorgiaPresent, Widespread
-HawaiiPresent, Widespread
-IllinoisPresent, Localized
-IndianaPresent, Localized
-KansasPresent, Widespread
-KentuckyPresent, Widespread
-LouisianaPresent, Widespread
-MarylandPresent, Widespread
-MississippiPresent, Widespread
-MissouriPresent
-New MexicoPresent, Widespread
-New YorkPresent, Widespread
-North CarolinaPresent, Widespread
-OklahomaPresent, Widespread
-OregonPresent, Widespread
-PennsylvaniaPresent, Widespread
-South CarolinaPresent, Widespread
-TennesseePresent, Widespread
-TexasPresent, Widespread
-UtahPresent
-VirginiaPresent, Widespread
-WashingtonPresent, Widespread
-West VirginiaPresent, Widespread

Oceania

American SamoaPresent
AustraliaPresent, Widespread
-New South WalesPresent, Widespread
-Northern TerritoryPresent, Widespread
-QueenslandPresent, Widespread
-South AustraliaPresent, Widespread
-TasmaniaPresent, Widespread
-VictoriaPresent, Widespread
-Western AustraliaPresent, Widespread
FijiPresent, Widespread
KiribatiPresent, Widespread
New CaledoniaPresent
New ZealandPresent
NiuePresent
Norfolk IslandPresent
Papua New GuineaPresent, Widespread
SamoaPresent, Widespread
Solomon IslandsPresent, Widespread
TongaPresent, Widespread
TuvaluPresent, Widespread
VanuatuPresent, Widespread

South America

ArgentinaPresent, Widespread
BoliviaPresent, Widespread
BrazilPresent, Widespread
-AlagoasPresent
-BahiaPresent, Widespread
-CearaPresent, Widespread
-Espirito SantoPresent, Widespread
-GoiasPresent, Widespread
-MaranhaoPresent, Widespread
-Mato Grosso do SulPresent, Widespread
-Minas GeraisPresent, Widespread
-ParaPresent, Widespread
-ParaibaPresent, Widespread
-ParanaPresent, Widespread
-PernambucoPresent, Widespread
-Rio de JaneiroPresent, Widespread
-Rio Grande do NortePresent
-Rio Grande do SulPresent, Widespread
-Santa CatarinaPresent, Widespread
-Sao PauloPresent, Widespread
ChilePresent, Widespread
ColombiaPresent
EcuadorPresent, Widespread
French GuianaPresent
GuyanaPresent, Widespread
ParaguayPresent, Widespread
PeruPresent
SurinamePresent, Widespread
UruguayPresent
VenezuelaPresent, Widespread

Risk of Introduction

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M. incognita is widely endemic in subtropical and tropical regions, thus quarantine regulations would be superfluous and none are known to be in place.

Habitat

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M. incognita is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions, in particular in the warmer areas. For example, in California (USA), M. incognita is found more commonly in the hot valleys of the interior (Ferris and Van Gundy, 1979) and in East Africa it is restricted to altitudes below 2000 m above sea level (Whitehead, 1969). M. incognita is found on many soil types. Damage and yield losses caused are generally more severe on coarse-textured sandy soils (Van Gundy, 1985). Meloidogyne spp. are generally intolerant of flooded soil conditions.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedProtected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

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M. incognita is probably the most widely distributed and economically important species of plant parasitic nematode in tropical and subtropical regions. Two-thirds of the root-knot nematode samples obtained from a number of tropical countries were of M. incognita (Sasser, 1979). In India alone, 232 plant genera have been reported as hosts to M. incognita (Krishnappa, 1985) and worldwide the species is a parasite of a wide range of crop plants.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Abelmoschus esculentus (okra)MalvaceaeMain
Abelmoschus manihot (bele)MalvaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012)
Acacia confusaFabaceaeMain
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)AsteraceaeOther
Actinidia deliciosa (kiwifruit)ActinidiaceaeOther
AgaveAgavaceaeOther
Ageratum conyzoides (billy goat weed)AsteraceaeUnknown
Albizia lebbeck (Indian siris)FabaceaeOther
Alcea rosea (Hollyhock)MalvaceaeOther
Allium cepa (onion)LiliaceaeUnknown
Khan et al. (2007); Vyas et al. (2008)
Allium fistulosum (Welsh onion)LiliaceaeUnknown
Aloe vera (true aloe)AloaceaeOther
Amaranthus (amaranth)AmaranthaceaeOther
Amaranthus blitoides (spreading amaranth)AmaranthaceaeOther
Amaranthus blitum (livid amaranth)AmaranthaceaeOther
Amaranthus deflexus (Perennial Pigweed)AmaranthaceaeWild host
Amaranthus hybridus (smooth pigweed)AmaranthaceaeWild host
Amaranthus spinosus (spiny amaranth)AmaranthaceaeWild host
Amaranthus viridis (slender amaranth)AmaranthaceaeWild host
Singh et al. (2012)
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeHabitat/association
Ananas comosus (pineapple)BromeliaceaeOther
Anchusa azurea (Italian alkanet)BoraginaceaeWild host
Anethum graveolens (dill)ApiaceaeOther
Apium graveolens (celery)ApiaceaeUnknown
Aptenia cordifoliaAizoaceaeHabitat/association
Arabidopsis thalianaBrassicaceaeOther
Araujia sericifera (Arejishi)AsclepiadaceaeWild host
d'Errico et al. (2014)
Areca catechu (betelnut palm)ArecaceaeHabitat/association
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)LiliaceaeOther
Basella alba (malabar spinach)BasellaceaeHabitat/association
Bassia scopariaChenopodiaceaeOther
Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nut)LecythidaceaeUnknown
Beta vulgaris (beetroot)ChenopodiaceaeOther
Beta vulgaris var. saccharifera (sugarbeet)ChenopodiaceaeUnknown
Bidens pilosa (blackjack)AsteraceaeWild host
Brassica oleracea (cabbages, cauliflowers)BrassicaceaeUnknown
Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes (kohlrabi)BrassicaceaeMain
Brassica rapa (field mustard)BrassicaceaeUnknown
Brassicaceae (cruciferous crops)BrassicaceaeOther
Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold)AsteraceaeOther
Canavalia ensiformis (jack bean)FabaceaeOther
CannaCannaceaeOther
Canna indica (canna lilly)CannaceaeHabitat/association
Cannabis sativa (hemp)CannabaceaeOther
Capsicum (peppers)SolanaceaeUnknown
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeMain
Capsicum chinense (habanero pepper)SolanaceaeUnknown
Cardiospermum halicacabum (balloon vine)SapindaceaeWild host
Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeMain
Chamaesyce prostrataEuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Chenopodium album (fat hen)ChenopodiaceaeWild host
Chenopodium murale (nettleleaf goosefoot)ChenopodiaceaeWild host
Chrysanthemum (daisy)AsteraceaeOther
Cicer arietinum (chickpea)FabaceaeUnknown
Cichorium (chicory)AsteraceaeOther
Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012); Anwar and McKenry (2010)
Cleome viscosa (Asian spiderflower)CapparaceaeWild host
Clitoria ternatea (butterfly-pea)FabaceaeOther
Cocos nucifera (coconut)ArecaceaeHabitat/association
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Coffea canephora (robusta coffee)RubiaceaeOther
ColocasiaAraceaeOther
Colocasia esculenta (taro)AraceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012)
Commelina benghalensis (wandering jew)CommelinaceaeWild host
Convolvulus arvensis (bindweed)ConvolvulaceaeWild host
Cordia myxa (sebesten)BoraginaceaeOther
Cordyline fruticosa (ti plant)AgavaceaeOther
Cordyline fruticosa (ti plant)AgavaceaeOther
Coriandrum sativum (coriander)ApiaceaeOther
Cucumis anguria (West Indian gherkin)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucumis melo (melon)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucurbita (pumpkin)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Cucurbita argyrosperma (silver-seed gourd)CucurbitaceaeMain
Cucurbita maxima (giant pumpkin)CucurbitaceaeMain
Singh et al. (2012); Quénéhervé et al. (2011)
Cucurbita moschata (pumpkin)CucurbitaceaeMain
Cucurbita pepo (marrow)CucurbitaceaeMain
Cucurbitaceae (cucurbits)CucurbitaceaeMain
Cullen corylifolium (black-dot)FabaceaeOther
Curcuma alismatifoliaZingiberaceaeOther
Curcuma longa (turmeric)ZingiberaceaeOther
Cyperus (flatsedge)CyperaceaeOther
Cyperus haspanCyperaceaeOther
Cyperus rotundus (purple nutsedge)CyperaceaeWild host
Dahlia coccineaAsteraceaeOther
Datura metel (Hindu datura)SolanaceaeOther
Datura stramonium (jimsonweed)SolanaceaeWild host
Daucus carota (carrot)ApiaceaeOther
Digitaria horizontalisPoaceaeWild host
Digitaria insularis (sourgrass)PoaceaeWild host
Digitaria sanguinalis (large crabgrass)PoaceaeUnknown
Song et al. (2019)
Dioscorea (yam)DioscoreaceaeOther
Dioscorea alata (white yam)DioscoreaceaeOther
Dioscorea batatas (Chinese yam)DioscoreaceaeOther
Dioscorea cayenensis (Guinea yam)DioscoreaceaeHabitat/association
Dioscorea esculenta (Asiatic yam)DioscoreaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012)
Dioscorea rotundataDioscoreaceaeOther
Duranta erecta (golden dewdrop)VerbenaceaeOther
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)PoaceaeWild host
Eleusine indica (goose grass)PoaceaeUnknown
Song et al. (2019)
Emilia sonchifolia (red tasselflower)AsteraceaeWild host
Eragrostis ciliaris (gophertail lovegrass)PoaceaeOther
Eryngium foetidumApiaceaeOther
Euphorbia heterophylla (wild poinsettia)EuphorbiaceaeWild host
Euphorbia prostrataEuphorbiaceaeOther
Euphorbia tirucalli (Indian-tree spurge)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Fabaceae (leguminous plants)FabaceaeMain
FicusMoraceaeOther
Ficus benjamina (weeping fig)MoraceaeOther
Ficus carica (common fig)MoraceaeUnknown
Ficus elastica (rubber plant)MoraceaeOther
Ficus religiosa (sacred fig tree)MoraceaeOther
Galinsoga parviflora (gallant soldier)AsteraceaeWild host
Gazania (treasure-flower)AsteraceaeOther
Gerbera jamesonii (African daisy)AsteraceaeUnknown
GloxiniaHabitat/association
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeUnknown
Gomphrena globosa (globe amaranth)AmaranthaceaeOther
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeOther
Gossypium hirsutum (Bourbon cotton)MalvaceaeUnknown
Helianthus annuus (sunflower)AsteraceaeOther
Hemerocallis (daylilies)LiliaceaeOther
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)EuphorbiaceaeHabitat/association
Hibiscus cannabinus (kenaf)MalvaceaeMain
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (China-rose)MalvaceaeUnknown
Hibiscus syriacus (shrubby althaea)MalvaceaeOther
Hibiscus trionum (Venice mallow)MalvaceaeWild host
Impatiens (balsam)BalsaminaceaeUnknown
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)ConvolvulaceaeOther
Singh et al. (2012)
Ipomoea nil (white edge morning-glory)ConvolvulaceaeWild host
Ipomoea purpurea (tall morning glory)ConvolvulaceaeWild host
Jacquemontia pentanthaConvolvulaceaeOther
Jasminum multiflorum (star jasmine)OleaceaeHabitat/association
Jasminum sambac (Arabian jasmine)OleaceaeOther
Juglans (walnuts)JuglandaceaeHabitat/association
Juglans regia (walnut)JuglandaceaeUnknown
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoiCrassulaceaeOther
Lactuca (lettuce)AsteraceaeOther
Lactuca sativa (lettuce)AsteraceaeMain
Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce)AsteraceaeWild host
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)CucurbitaceaeMain
Singh et al. (2012)
Lantana camara (lantana)VerbenaceaeOther
Lavandula angustifolia (lavender)LamiaceaeOther
Lens culinaris subsp. culinaris (lentil)FabaceaeOther
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick)LamiaceaeUnknown
Lotus corniculatus (bird's-foot trefoil)FabaceaeOther
Luffa acutangula (angled luffa)CucurbitaceaeMain
Luffa aegyptiaca (loofah)CucurbitaceaeMain
Luffa aegyptiaca (loofah)CucurbitaceaeMain
Malachra alceifoliaUnknown
Malpighia emarginataMalpighiaceaeOther
Malpighia glabra (acerola)MalpighiaceaeOther
Malva pusilla (round-leaved mallow)MalvaceaeWild host
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeMain
Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Singh et al. (2012)
Medicago sativa (lucerne)FabaceaeMain
Melilotus indica (Indian sweetclover)FabaceaeWild host
Mentha piperita (Peppermint)LamiaceaeUnknown
Mentha spicata (Spear mint)LamiaceaeOther
Miconia cinnamomifoliaMelastomataceaeUnknown
Momordica charantia (bitter gourd)CucurbitaceaeOther
Morinda citrifolia (Indian mulberry)RubiaceaeOther
MorusOther
Morus alba (mora)MoraceaeUnknown
Morus nigra (black mulberry)MoraceaeOther
Murraya paniculata (orange jessamine)RutaceaeOther
Musa (banana)MusaceaeOther
Musa acuminata (wild banana)MusaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012)
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)MusaceaeOther
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012); Zeng et al. (2018)
Ocimum basilicum (basil)LamiaceaeUnknown
Oenanthe javanicaApiaceaeOther
Olea europaeaOleaceaeUnknown
Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)OleaceaeHabitat/association
Ophiopogon japonicusLiliaceaeOther
Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeMain
Parthenium hysterophorus (parthenium weed)AsteraceaeHabitat/association
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit)PassifloraceaeOther
Paulownia elongata (elongate paulownia)ScrophulariaceaeOther
Persicaria posumbuPolygonaceaeOther
Petroselinum crispum (parsley)ApiaceaeUnknown
Phaseolus (beans)FabaceaeMain
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)FabaceaeMain
Singh et al. (2012)
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
Phyla nodifloraVerbenaceaeOther
Piper methysticum (kava)PiperaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012)
Piper nigrum (black pepper)PiperaceaeOther
Pisum sativum (pea)FabaceaeUnknown
Pithecellobium dulce (Manila tamarind)FabaceaeOther
Pittosporum tobira (Japanese pittosporum)PittosporaceaeOther
Plantago lanceolata (ribwort plantain)PlantaginaceaeWild host
Polianthes tuberosa (tuberose)AgavaceaeOther
Polygonum aviculare (prostrate knotweed)PolygonaceaeWild host
Pongamia pinnata (Indian beech)FabaceaeOther
Portulaca oleracea (purslane)PortulacaceaeWild host
Portulaca quadrifida (chickenweed)PortulacaceaeOther
Prosopis juliflora (mesquite)FabaceaeOther
Prunus (stone fruit)RosaceaeOther
Prunus domestica (plum)RosaceaeOther
Prunus persica (peach)RosaceaeOther
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)RosaceaeMain
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (winged bean)FabaceaeOther
Ptychosperma elegans (solitaire palm)ArecaceaeHabitat/association
Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeOther
Radermachera sinicaBignoniaceaeOther
Raphanus sativus (radish)BrassicaceaeUnknown
Rhaponticum repens (Russian knapweed)AsteraceaeWild host
Ricinus communis (castor bean)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Rollinia mucosaAnnonaceaeWild host
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)LamiaceaeMain
Rumex acetosa (sour dock)PolygonaceaeWild host
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)PoaceaeOther
Salvia miltiorrhizaLamiaceaeUnknown
Samanea saman (rain tree)FabaceaeMain
Sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue)AgavaceaeOther
Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper tree)AnacardiaceaeWild host
Sesamum indicum (sesame)PedaliaceaeOther
Setaria viridis (green foxtail)PoaceaeWild host
Song et al. (2019)
Sida rhombifoliaMalvaceaeWild host
Sinapis alba (white mustard)BrassicaceaeWild host
SolanaceaeSolanaceaeMain
Solanum americanumSolanaceaeWild host
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiformeUnknown
Solanum melongena (aubergine)SolanaceaeMain
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)SolanaceaeWild host
Solanum sisymbriifolium (sticky nightshade)SolanaceaeWild host
Solanum tuberosum (potato)SolanaceaeOther
Spinacia oleracea (spinach)ChenopodiaceaeOther
Tabebuia serratifoliaBignoniaceaeWild host
Tagetes erecta (Mexican marigold)AsteraceaeOther
Tephrosia vogelii (Vogel's tephrosia)FabaceaeOther
Trachyspermum ammiApiaceaeOther
Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeUnknown
Veitchia merrillii (Christmas palm)ArecaceaeHabitat/association
Vernonia cinereaAsteraceaeWild host
Vigna angularis (adzuki bean)FabaceaeOther
Vigna mungo (black gram)FabaceaeOther
Vigna radiata (mung bean)FabaceaeOther
Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)FabaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012)
Viola pilosaViolaceaeOther
Vitex agnus-castus (chaste tree)LamiaceaeOther
Vitex trifoliaLamiaceaeOther
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeUnknown
Washingtonia robusta (mexican washington-palm)ArecaceaeOther
Xanthosoma (cocoyam)AraceaeOther
Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeOther
Zingiber officinale (ginger)ZingiberaceaeUnknown
Singh et al. (2012)

Growth Stages

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Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

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Field symptoms are typically of stunted, poorly growing plants with yellowing leaves. Infected root systems show characteristic knots or galls, the severity of which varies with the degree of nematode infection and species and variety of plant parasitized (see Dropkin, 1989).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / wilting
Roots / galls along length
Roots / reduced root system
Roots / swollen roots
Whole plant / dwarfing
Whole plant / early senescence

Biology and Ecology

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The life cycles of Meloidogyne spp. are well studied and in their essentials differ little between the major species (De Guiran and Ritter, 1979). At 21°C M. incognita took 37 days to complete its life cycle on Antirrhinum majus, a similar time to that reported on soyabeans (temperatures not published) (Ibrahim and El-Saedy, 1987). Juveniles penetrate root tips, occasionally invading roots in the zone of root elongation. Invaded nematodes initiate the development of giant cells in the meristematic, cortical and xylem tissues of the root and galling of roots occurs. Third- and fourth-stage juveniles and young females occur after about 6-8 and 15 days, respectively. Adult females were observed after 20 days and egg laying commenced after 25 days (Ibrahim and El-Saedy, 1987).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
B - Dry (arid and semi-arid) Preferred < 860mm precipitation annually
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -1

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Alternaria humicola Pathogen
Arachnula impatiens Pathogen
Arthrobotrys amerospora Predator
Arthrobotrys cladodes Predator
Arthrobotrys conoides Predator
Arthrobotrys dactyloides Predator
Arthrobotrys fusiformis Predator
Arthrobotrys irregularis Predator
Arthrobotrys lacdodes Predator
Arthrobotrys musiformis Predator
Arthrobotrys oligospora Predator cucumbers
Arthrobotrys vermicola Predator
Aspergillus niger Antagonist
Athelia rolfsii Pathogen Arthropods|Larvae
Aureobasidium pullulans Antagonist
Azotobacter chroococcum Pathogen India
Bacillus cereus Pathogen
Bacillus subtilis Pathogen
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen
Catenaria anguillulae Pathogen tomatoes
Cochliobolus lunatus Pathogen
Cylindrocarpon olidum Pathogen
Dactylaria brochophaga Predator
Dactylella lysipaga Predator
Fusarium oxysporum Pathogen
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. ciceris Pathogen
Haematonectria haematococca Pathogen
Harposporium anguillulae Parasite
Harposporium oxysporium Parasite
Hirsutella rhossiliensis Pathogen
Hypocrea rufa Mycoparasite
Micrococcus luteus Pathogen
Monacrosporium cionopagum Predator
Monacrosporium ellipsosporum Predator
Monacrosporium endermata Predator
Monacrosporium fusiformis Predator
Monacrosporium lysifaga Predator
Monacrosporium megalalosporum Predator
Mononchoides fortidens Predator
Mononchoides longicaudatus Predator
Mononchus aquaticus Parasite
Myrothecium verrucaria Pathogen
Paecilomyces lilacinus Parasite Eggs India; Puerto Rico
Pasteuria penetrans Pathogen Ecuador
Serratia marcescens Pathogen
Streptomyces saraceticus Pathogen
Thanatephorus cucumeris Pathogen
Vampyrella vorax Pathogen
Verticillium chlamydosporium Parasite Eggs UK

Notes on Natural Enemies

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A considerable amount of work has been devoted to the biological control of root-knot nematodes in general and M. incognita in particular (Kerry, 1987). Most research has concentrated on the endoparasitic microorganism Pasteuria penetrans and the egg-parasitic fungus Purpureocillium lilacinum (syn. Paecilomyces lilanicus). Experimental work has been encouraging, for example, P. penetrans in the control of M. incognita on tomatoes (Sayre, 1980) and P. lilanicinum in the control of M. incognita on potatoes (Jatala, 1985). The development of P. lilanicinum has reached the stage of multi-local field trials (Jatala, 1985). However, there are considerable problems in the preparation and incorporation of inocula of putative biocontrol agents and the practical application of such technology remains to be developed (Kerry, 1987).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoosInfrequent Yes
Breeding and propagationPossible on vegetatively propagated material. Yes Yes
Crop productionMovement of soil on machinery. Movement of infected plant material. Yes Yes
Digestion and excretionEggs can pass through the intestine. Yes
Flooding and other natural disastersFlood washes infected soil downstream. Yes Yes
FoodRoot crops commonly found in the market. Yes Yes
Garden waste disposalRoot and root crops infected. Yes
Military movementsMovement of soil on equipment. Yes Yes
Nursery tradeMovement of infected plants. Yes Yes
People sharing resourcesSharing plants that are infected. Sharing soil that are infested Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsEggs and galls in soil. Infested soil on footwear. Yes Yes
Containers and packaging - wood Yes
Land vehiclesEggs and galls in soil. Yes
MailEggs and galls in soil. Yes
Soil, sand and gravelEggs and galls in soil. Movement of infested soil. Yes Yes
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesMovement of infested soil. Yes
Machinery and equipmentMovement of infested soil Yes Yes
Mulch, straw, baskets and sodMovement of infested sod. Yes
Plants or parts of plantsMovement of infected plants. Yes Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes nematodes/adults; nematodes/eggs; nematodes/juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Growing medium accompanying plants nematodes/eggs; nematodes/juveniles Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Roots nematodes/adults; nematodes/eggs; nematodes/juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants nematodes/adults; nematodes/eggs; nematodes/juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx
Fruits (inc. pods)
Leaves
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)
Wood

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood
Environment (generally)

Impact

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Introduction

The root knot nematode species, M. incognita, is the most widespread and probably the most serious plant parasitic nematode pest of tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world (Sasser, 1979). It occurs as a pest on a very wide range of crops. Most estimates of yield loss come from the use of nematicides and it should be noted that these can possibly cause other beneficial growth effects.

Cotton

The most accurate and detailed estimates of cotton yield losses due to nematodes have been undertaken in states of the USA where nematicides are regularly used. In Arkansas, where M. incognita is by far the most important nematode of cotton, yield losses after the application of nematicides are estimated at 1.5% annually; in South Carolina, M. incognita with other nematodes account for an estimated 5% loss annually (Kirkpatrick, 1988, 1989). In Texas over a 16-year period of field experiments, the average cotton yield increase was 26% when fields infested with M. incognita were fumigated with nematicides. In six Texan counties, where over 47% of field soils were infested with M. incognita, it was calculated that the total annual yield loss was 10.2% or 85,600 cotton bales (Orr and Robinson, 1984). Disease complexes involving M. incognita and vascular Fusarium wilt on cotton are well recognized. Where the two organisms occur together, increasing the nematode population has a greater effect on wilt incidence and cotton yield loss than an increase in the Fusarium population (Starr et al., 1989; Hillocks and Bridge, 1992; Hillocks, 1997).

Tobacco

Root knot nematodes, mainly M. incognita and M. javanica, are always pests of economic importance in tobacco culture, wherever the climate favours them (Barker et al., 1981; Shepherd and Barker, 1990). In North America, losses to tobacco from root knot nematodes, mainly M. incognita, have been estimated to range from 1 to 14% annually in areas where control measures are the norm (Shepherd and Barker, 1990). Root knot nematodes, probably M. incognita, have been estimated to cause 50 to 60% yield losses in parts of Turkey and losses of 25% from field infestation and 50% if the infestation started in the seedbed in India (Shepherd and Barker, 1990). The percentage loss in tobacco yield is estimated to be 8 to 9% for each ten-fold increase in the initial population of M. incognita (Barker et al., 1981). In Cuba, in the region where the highest quality tobacco for cigars is produced, the losses due to M. incognita are estimated at 27.5% of the crop potential of flue-cured tobacco (Garcia and Perez, 1987; Fernandez and Ortega, 1998).

Food Legumes

M. incognita is a major economic pest of food legumes in the tropics and subtropics (Sikora and Greco, 1990). Moderate soil populations of 1000 nematodes per plant in pathogenicity pot experiments can reduce pod yields of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) by 27% and very high soil populations of 10,000 per plant reduce pod yields by 87%. In M. incognita-infested field plots treated with nematicides, yield of chickpea can increase by 15 to 33% (Reddy, 1976). Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is very badly damaged by Meloidogyne species in the tropics. Significant bean yield increases of 45 to 60% have been achieved in Kenya by reducing mixed soil populations of M. incognita and M. javanica with the application of nematicides (Ngundo and Taylor, 1974). Similarly in Peru and Colombia, in fields infested with mixed populations of Meloidogyne species, mainly M. incognita, common bean seed yield can be reduced by 26 to 63% depending on the bean cultivar grown and other factors (Mullin et al., 1991). M. incognita is a serious pest of Phaseolus vulgaris in the USA where there is a reduction of 66% in crop value in fields where the nematodes are not controlled. The reduced crop value is a result of a combination of reduced plant stands and a 27% lower average pod production by surviving plants (Smittle and Johnson, 1982). Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is another very susceptible host crop of M. incognita. In Nigerian soils where M. incognita is the predominant nematode parasite, application of nematicides can increase cowpea yields by 95 to 222% (Babatola and Omotade, 1991). Soyabean (Glycine max) is another legume severely damaged by root knot nematodes and in Brazil yield can be reduced by over 55% in the presence of M. incognita (Antonio, 1988). In India, nematicide application to farmers' fields infested with a mixture of M. incognita and Rotylenchulus reniformis increased yield of soyabean by 19% (Prasad, 1999).

Vegetables

M. incognita is a major pest of vegetables throughout the tropics and subtropics. Many crops grown as vegetables are susceptible to the nematode particularly tomato, aubergine, okra, cucumber, melon, carrot, gourds, lettuce and peppers. Estimates of vegetable crop losses due Meloidogyne species, mainly M. incognita and M. javanica, have ranged from 17 to 20% for aubergine (Solanum melongena), 18 to 33% for melon and 24 to 38% for tomato (Sasser, 1979). In India, yield losses of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), tomato and aubergine field crops are estimated at 91%, 42 to 54% and 18%, respectively (Bhatti and Jain, 1977; Subramaniyan et al., 1990). Other trials in India using nematicides showed that in fields naturally infested with mixed populations of M. incognita and M. javanica the avoidable yield losses in peas, okra, tomato and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) crops is 46% to 56% (Sharma and Baheti, 1992).

Yams

The primary damage to yams (Dioscorea species) by M. incognita is in the reduction in quality and marketability of the tubers due to the extensive surface galling caused by the root knot nematodes (Jatala and Bridge, 1990). It is estimated that there is a reduction of 39 to 52% in the price of galled tubers compared with healthy ones (Nwauzor and Fawole, 1982). However, there are instances were the nematode is known to actually reduce yields, for example in Nigeria significant yield reduction can occur in D. alata due to M. incognita (Adesiyan and Odihirin, 1978). In Martinique, M. incognita is reported to have completely destroyed a crop of the yam D. trifida (Kermarrec, 1974). In India, pot experiments have demonstrated that even low nematode populations of 100 M. incognita juveniles per plant can cause a highly significant reduction in yam (D. rotundata) tuber weights of 27% and larger nematode populations over 55% yield loss (Mohandas and Ramakrishnan, 1997).

Potatoes

Losses of potatoes due to Meloidogyne species, mainly M. incognita and M. chitwoodi, are estimated at 25% or more (Mai et al., 1981).

Spices

M. incognita is an important pest of black pepper (Piper nigrum) in many countries particularly in Brazil and India where infestation levels of over 90% have been reported (Koshy and Bridge, 1990). As few as 10 juveniles per plant can reduce black pepper growth by 16% under potted conditions (Koshy et al., 1979). Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) suffers yield losses of 32 to 47% in the presence of M. incognita in India (Ali, 1986). In Australia, M. incognita and M. javanica are pests of ginger and severe infestation of rhizomes can reduce yields by 57% (Pegg et al., 1974). In pot experiments, a reduction of 74% in ginger rhizome weight has been recorded with initial M. incognita soil populations of 10,000 nematodes (Sukumaran and Sundararaju, 1986).

Coffee

M. incognita is found in many coffee-growing areas in the world but it is in Brazil where its effects have been the most catastrophic. In Brazil, the nematode has caused the complete destruction of coffee plantations and resulted in major agricultural changes as farmers were forced to adopt alternative crops (Campos et al., 1990).
 

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Host damage
  • Increases vulnerability to invasions
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts cultural/traditional practices
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
  • Negatively impacts animal/plant collections
  • Damages animal/plant products
  • Negatively impacts trade/international relations
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Antagonistic (micro-organisms)
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Induces hypersensitivity
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Parasitism (incl. parasitoid)
  • Pathogenic
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses List

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General

  • Research model

Diagnosis

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General identification of root-knot nematode infestation can be conducted by competent nematologists with basic equipment. Identification of species within the genus Meloidogyne requires the services of specialized taxonomists. In addition to classical taxonomic techniques, biochemical methods have been developed (Esbenshade and Triantaphyllou, 1985), and molecular techniques are standard by sequencing the ribosomal DNA 18S-ITS-5.8S, 28S D2/D3 and a mitochondrial DNA fragment flanking cytochrome oxidase gene subunit II (Ye et al., 2019).

The situation regarding M. incognita is complicated by the existence of morphologically indistinguishable races differentiated by their ability to reproduce on resistant tobacco and cotton (Hartman and Sasser, 1985).

Detection and Inspection

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Above-ground symptoms are non-specific (see Symptoms): examination of roots can reveal the presence of swollen roots and galls. However, some hosts such as maize do not form galls. Closer examination, for example with a hand lens, can show the presence of egg masses on the root surface.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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The morphology of M. incognita is similar to other species of Meloidogyne and often confused with other species such as M. enterolobii, M. floridensis, M. hispanica, etc. Confusion within this group is common as the characters used tend to be variable; however molecular techniques have made species identification very reliable (Ye et al., 2019).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Methods for the control of M. incognita vary with the production system used and the value of the crop. Chemical control may be used on high-value crops, and a wide range of chemicals are available (Johnson, 1985a; Hague and Gowen, 1987). More recently, seed treatments have become widely utilized to minimize the amount on active ingredient applied or for the application of biological control agents. Often these tactics are reserved for the most important row crops like soyabean, maize and cotton (Monfort et al., 2006). Strategies of cultural control are less well developed and crop rotations are difficult to design because of the wide host range of M. incognita. Groundnuts or maize, which are both poor or non-hosts to M. incognita, have been evaluated for use in cropping systems designed to manage this nematode (Raymundo, 1985). Systems of integrating cropping sequences and chemical control have been evaluated in the USA (Johnson, 1985b). Resistance to M. incognita exists in a number of commercial crop varieties, principally vegetables (Lehman and Cochran, 1991). These have generally been developed in the USA, but have been evaluated in other parts of the world (for example, see Krishnappa, 1985).

References

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Nemaplexhttp://nemaplex.ucdavis.edu
Plant and Insect Parasitic Nematode, Nebraskahttps://nematode.unl.edu/index.html

Organizations

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Tropical America: Organization of Tropical American Nematologists (OTAN), https://ontaweb.com

World: International Federation of Nematological Societies (IFNS), https://www.ifns.org

Europe: European Society of Nematologists (ESN), INRA, Rennes, https://www.esn-online.org/about-esn/

USA: Society of Nematologists (SON), Box 190, Mesilla Park, New Mexico 88047 , https://nematologists.org

Contributors

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08/05/20 Review by:

Jonathan D. EIsenback, 103 Price Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA.

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