Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Meloidogyne mayaguensis



Meloidogyne mayaguensis


  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Meloidogyne mayaguensis
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Nematoda
  •       Family: Meloidogynidae
  •         Genus: Meloidogyne
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Meloidogyne mayaguensis Rammah & Hirschmann, 1988

EPPO code

  • MELGMY (Meloidogyne mayaguensis)

Taxonomic Tree

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


Top of page Females: Body pear-shaped, lacking tail protuberance. Head not annulated. Stylet 14-17 µm long; conus about half its total length; knobs round to reniform, 3.9-5.2 (4.3) µm across. Excretory pore usually opposite median oesophageal bulb, 3-5 stylet lengths from anterior end.

Perineal pattern: Rounded to dorso-ventrally oval with fine but widely spaced striae, somewhat similar to that of M. incognita and M. arenaria in having rounded dorsal arch, fine striae and lateral lines being absent (cf. double lateral lines in M. javanica) or represented by occasional breaks or a short line on one side of pattern at junction of dorsal and ventral arches. There is a prominent tail tip area (larger in size than that of M. javanica; absent in M. incognita and M. arenaria) which is circular and usually free of striae. Anal fold present. Phasmids small pore-like, one vulva slit length (21-30 µm) apart. Lateral striations on either side of vulva slit present. Egg masses small, with 150-200 eggs in each. Eggs 88-111 (98)×38-50 (44) µm.

Males: Body vermiform, 1.17-1.74 (1.5) mm long, slender (a =31-50 (40)). Head elevated, rectangular, continuous, not annulated. Stylet 21-25 (23) µm long; shaft with irregular thickness and lumen diameter; knobs rounded, distinctly separate, 4.3-5.6 (5) µm across, set off from shaft. Spicules and gubernaculum 24-31 (28) µm and 6-9 (7) µm long, respectively. Tail short; phasmids preanal, near mid-spicule level.

Second-stage juveniles: Body vermiform, 0.39-0.53 (0.45) mm long. Lateral field with 4 incisures. Stylet 11-12 µm long; conus about half its total length; knobs small, rounded with posteriorly sloping anterior surfaces. Dorsal oesophageal gland orifice 3.3-4.3 µm behind stylet. Oesophagus typical of the genus with elongate glands extending on ventral side of intestine. Excretory pore 80-98 (88) µm from anterior end of body. Rectum inflated. Tail elongate-conoid to a bluntly pointed tip, 49-63 (54) µm long or 4.3-5.7 (5) times as long as anal body width; hyaline terminal part distinctly set off. Phasmids punctiform, slightly behind anal level.

(This information is derived from Rammah and Hirschmann, 1988)


Top of page M. mayaguensis was described originally from aubergine in Puerto Rico where tomato, tobacco, Capsicum and watermelon are good hosts (Rammah, 1989; Rammah and Hirschmann, 1988). In Senegal, it is widespread and occurs along with other Meloidogyne species on tomato (Duponnois et al., 1995). In Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, commercial guava and Bidens pilosa are preferred hosts (Willers, 1997b).

M. mayaguensis parasitizes coffee in Cuba (Decker and Rodriguez Fuentes, 1989) and occurs sympatrically with Meloidogyne incognita, M. arenaria and M. javanica (Rodriguez et al., 1995). The species also occurs in several states in Brazil (Carneiro et al., 2001; Torres et al., 2004, 2005) on coffee and guava and a single isolation was recorded from soil around trees, palms, shrubs and herbaceous species in a preserved area of Atlantic forest in Brazil (Lima et al., 2005).

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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


ChinaPresentEPPO, 2014
-GuangdongPresentEPPO, 2014
-HainanPresentEPPO, 2014
-LiaoningPresentEPPO, 2014
VietnamPresentEPPO, 2014


Burkina FasoPresentEPPO, 2014
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentEPPO, 2014
Côte d'IvoirePresentEPPO, 2014
MalawiPresentEPPO, 2014
SenegalWidespreadDuponnois et al., 1995; CABI/EPPO, 2000; EPPO, 2014
South AfricaPresentWillers, 1997b; CABI/EPPO, 2000; EPPO, 2014
TogoPresentEPPO, 2014

North America

USAPresent, few occurrencesBrito et al., 2004; EPPO, 2014
-FloridaPresent, few occurrencesBrito et al., 2004; EPPO, 2014
-North CarolinaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

CubaWidespreadRodriguez et al., 1995; CABI/EPPO, 2000; EPPO, 2014
GuadeloupePresentEPPO, 2014
GuatemalaPresentEPPO, 2014
MartiniquePresentEPPO, 2014
Puerto RicoWidespreadRammah and Hirschmann, 1988; Rammah, 1989; CABI/EPPO, 2000; EPPO, 2014
Trinidad and TobagoPresentEPPO, 2014

South America

BrazilWidespreadCarneiro et al., 2001; Torres et al., 2004; Lima et al., 2005; Torres et al., 2005; EPPO, 2014
-BahiaPresentCarneiro et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-CearaPresentEPPO, 2014
-MaranhaoPresentSilva et al., 2008; EPPO, 2014
-Mato GrossoPresentAlmeida et al., 2008; EPPO, 2014
-Minas GeraisPresentEPPO, 2014
-ParanaPresentEPPO, 2014
-PernambucoPresentCarneiro et al., 2001; EPPO, 2014
-PiauiPresentEPPO, 2014
-Rio de JaneiroPresentEPPO, 2014
-Rio Grande do NortePresentEPPO, 2014
-Rio Grande do SulPresentGomes et al., 2008; EPPO, 2014
-Santa CatarinaPresentGomes et al., 2008; EPPO, 2014
-Sao PauloPresentEPPO, 2014
-TocantinsPresentCharchar et al., 2009
VenezuelaPresentEPPO, 2014


FranceAbsent, formerly presentEPPO, 2014
NetherlandsAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
SwitzerlandPresent, few occurrencesEPPO, 2014

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page Tomato, aubergine, tobacco, pepper (Capsicum annuum) and watermelon are good hosts for Meloidogyne mayaguensis (Rammah and Hirschmann, 1988). Guava and Bidens pilosa are also good hosts and may occur side by side thus serving as alternative hosts (Willers, 1997b). Coffee is severely parasitized in Cuba (Decker and Rodriguez Fuentes, 1989) and M. mayaguensis is also recorded from coffee in Brazil (Carneiro et al., 2004). On coffee in Cuba M. mayaguensis occurs sympatrically with Meloidogyne incognita, M. arenaria and M. javanica (Rodriguez et al., 1995). It is widespread on tomato in Senegal (Duponnois et al., 1995). It occurs on guava in north-eastern Brazil (Carneiro et al., 2001, Torres et al., 2004, 2005). Guimaraes et al. (2003) presented data on M. mayaguensis parasitism on various plant species in Brazil. They found that common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), cowpea, tomato and Crotalaria juncea were susceptible whereas groundnut, maize and C. spectabilis were resistant. In tomato, the Mi gene for root-knot resistance was not effective against M. mayaguensis. The groundnut roots showed high numbers of adult females, although no eggs were observed. Maranhao et al. (2003) indicated that some genotypes of Psidium guineense varied from slightly to highly susceptible to M. mayaguensis, although showing some resistance to other root-knot nematodes, whereas others showed moderate resistance.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Angelonia angustifoliaPlantaginaceaeOther
Bidens pilosa (blackjack)AsteraceaeWild host
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeMain
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeOther
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeOther
Lactuca sativa (lettuce)AsteraceaeOther
Malpighia glabra (acerola)MalpighiaceaeHabitat/association
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
Paulownia elongata (elongate paulownia)ScrophulariaceaeOther
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeMain
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
Solanum melongena (aubergine)SolanaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage


Top of page M. mayaguensis induces severe root galling in heavily attacked plants or trees. Attacked guava trees show general decline symptoms, noticed as yellowing of leaves and defoliation, and may die in 3 years. Declining trees occur in patches bordered by relatively healthy trees.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Roots / galls along length
Roots / galls at junction with stem
Roots / galls at tip
Roots / reduced root system
Roots / swollen roots
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

Top of page M. mayaguensis n.sp. reproduces by mitotic parthenogensis and has a somatic chromosome number of 2n = 44-45. The enzyme patterns are unique among Meloidogyne species and it can also be distinguished by molecular-based methodologies.

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Myrothecium verrucaria Pathogen

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsEggs and galls in soil. Yes
Containers and packaging - woodEggs and galls in soil. Yes
Land vehiclesEggs and galls in soil. Yes
MailEggs and galls in soil. Yes
Soil, sand and gravelEggs and galls in soil. Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Growing medium accompanying plants adults; eggs; juveniles Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Roots adults; eggs; juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants adults; eggs; 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
Fruits (inc. pods)
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)


Top of page M. mayaguensis parasitizes coffee in Cuba and occurs sympatrically with, and is more damaging than, Meloidogyne incognita, M. arenaria and M. javanica (Rodriguez et al., 1995). Severe root galling was observed on commercial guava in Nelspruit, South Africa. The attacked trees declined severely or died within 3 years (Willers, 1997b). Bidens pilosa, growing between guava trees, were heavily infested providing a source of infection (Willers, 1997b). M. mayaguensis was also reported causing galling to guava in Brazil (Carneiro et al., 2001). Carneiro et al. (2001) reported M. mayaguensis causing severe damage to commercial guava orchards in Pernambuco and Bahia states. Infested trees had a drastic reduction in growth, reduced leaf size and a decline in yield quantity and quality. Severely infested root systems were poorly developed and were distorted by multiple galls of various sizes. The authors speculated that the nematode had probably been spread from infected nurseries.

M. mayaguensis is more capable of breaking resistance than other common tropical species. Following the use of resistant cultivars, the resistance-breaking lines, with the pVI esterase phenotype using RFLP, were shown to belong to the species M. mayaguensis. These were not lines selected from other existing species of Meloidogyne such as M. incognita, M. arenaria, M. javanica and M. hapla (Fargette et al., 1996). Resistance studies have been done by Maranhao et al. (2003) and Rubio-Cabetas et al. (1999) who reported that the Ma gene from Myrobalan plum (Prunus cerasifera) conferred resistance to M. mayaguensis.

Detection and Inspection

Top of page The root galls have to be collected and the nematode identified particularly by the morphometrics of second-stage juveniles and the perineal patterns of females.

Attacked guava trees show general decline symptoms and may die in 3 years; declining trees occur in patches bordered by trees in a relatively better condition (Willers, 1997b).

Much emphasis has been placed on developing biochemical and molecular diagnostic protocols in order to reliably distinguish M. mayaguensis from other root-knot nematodes (Carneiro et al., 2000; Blok et al., 2002; Brito et al., 2004; Randig et al., 2004; Fargette et al., 2005; Molinari et al., 2005; Skantar and Carta, 2005).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page This is a typical species of Meloidogyne with host response similar to M. incognita race 2 but quite different in morphological characters. It resembles (see Hewlett and Tarjan (1983) and Jepson (1987) for details of related species) M. incognita, M. javanica, M. arenaria and M. enterolobii from which it can be differentiated by its typical perineal pattern supported by morphological and morphometric characters, particularly of head and stylet of female and male and body length, stylet, rectum and tail of second-stage juvenile. M. mayaguensis can also be distinguished from other root-knot species by esterase pattern and molecular methodologies.

Prevention and Control

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Chemical Control

Moreira and Henriques Neto (2001) studied the control of M. mayaguensis on guava seedlings in Brazil. They used various nematicides but did not demonstrate a reduction in the development of the nematode population.

Biological Control

In Senegal, the two local strains (ORS 18692 S7 and ORS 18692 S5) of the nematophagous fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora trapped 98% of groups of 7-day-old M. mayaguensis juveniles within 48 h; optimal growth occurred at 25-30°C and at pH 5.6, but salinity inhibited development. When the fungus was incorporated into compost blocks before sowing and transplanting tomato seedlings, it reduced M. mayaguensis populations and stimulated seedling growth in pot experiments during the cool season (28°C) and in field trials during the hot season (35°C). Both strains were efficient in reducing M. mayaguensis and other species of Meloidogyne populations (Duponnois et al., 1995). Duponnois et al. (2001) investigated the effects of organic amendments on the interactions between A. oligospora and M. mayaguensis parasitizing tomato plants.


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Almeida EJde; Soares PLM; Silva ARda; Santos JMdos, 2008. New records on Meloidogyne mayaguensis in Brazil and comparative study with M. incognita. (Novos registros sobre Meloidogyne mayaguensis no Brasil e estudo morfológico comparativo com M. incognita.) Nematologia Brasileira, 32(3):236-241.

Blok VC; Wishart J; Fargette M; Berthier K; Phillips MS, 2002. Mitochondrial DNA differences distinguishing Meloidogyne mayaguensis from the major species of tropical root-knot nematodes. Nematology, 4(7):773-781; 31 ref.

Brito J; Powers TO; Mullin PG; Inserra RN; Dickson DW, 2004. Morphological and molecular characterization of Meloidogyne mayaguensis isolates from Florida. Journal of Nematology, 36(3): 232-240.

CABI/EPPO, 2000. Meloidogyne mayaguensis. Distribution Maps of Plant Diseases, Map No. 804. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Carneiro RMDG; Almeida MRA; QuTnThervT P, 2000. Enzyme phenotypes of Meloidogyne spp. populations. Nematology, 2(6):645-654; 20 ref.

Carneiro RMDG; Moreira WA; Almeida MRA; Gomes ACMM, 2001. First record of Meloidogyne mayaguensis on guava in Brazil. Nematologia Brasileira, 25(2):223-228; 20 ref.

Carneiro RMDG; Tigano MS; Randig O; Almeida MRA; Sarah JL, 2004. Identification and genetic diversity of Meloidogyne spp. (Tylenchida: Meloidogynidae) on coffee from Brazil, Central America and Hawaii. Nematology, 6(2): 287-298.

Charchar JM; Fonseca MEN; Boiteux LS; Lima Neto AF, 2009. Occurrence of Meloidogyne mayaguensis on guava in Tocantins State, Brazil. (Ocorrência de Meloidogyne mayaguensis em goiabeira no estado do Tocantins.) Nematologia Brasileira, 33(2):182-186.

Decker H; Rodriguez Fuentes M-E, 1989. The occurrence of root gall nematodes Meloidogyne mayaguensis on Coffea arabica in Cuba. Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Wilhelm-Pieck-Universita^umlaut~t Rostock, Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe, 38(3):32-34; 6 ref.

Duponnois R; Chotte JL; Sall S; Cadet P, 2001. The effects of organic amendments on the interactions between a nematophagous fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora and the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne mayaguensis parasitizing tomato plants. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 34(1):1-6; 39 ref.

Duponnois R; Mateille T; Gueye M, 1995. Biological characteristics and effects of two strains of Arthrobotrys oligospora from Senegal on Meloidogyne species parasitizing tomato plants. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 5(4):517-525; 20 ref.

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Fargette M; Lollier V; Phillips M; Blok V; Frutos R, 2005. AFLP analysis of the genetic diversity of Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax, major agricultural pests. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 328(5):455-462.

Fargette M; Phillips MS; Blok VC; Waugh R; Trudgill DL, 1996. An RFLP study of relationships between species, populations and resistance-breaking lines of tropical species of Meloidogyne. Fundamental and Applied Nematology, 19(2):193-200; 24 ref.

Gomes CB; Couto MEO; Carneiro RMDG, 2008. Occurrence of Meloidogyne mayaguensis on guava and tabacco in South of Brazil. (Registro de ocorrência de Meloidogyne mayaguensis em goiabeira e fumo no Sul do Brasil.) Nematologia Brasileira, 32(3):244-247.

Guimaraes LMP; Moura RM de; Pedrosa EMR, 2003. Meloidogyne mayaguensis parasitism on different plant species. Nematologia Brasileira, 27(2): 139-145.

Hewlett TE; Tarjan AC, 1983. Synopsis of the genus Meloidogyne Goeldi, 1887. Nematropica, 13(1):79-102

Jepson SB, 1987. Identification of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne species). Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Lima IM; Souza RM; Silva CP; Carneiro RMDG, 2005. Meloidogyne spp. from preserved areas of Atlantic forest in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nematologia Brasileira, 29(1): 31-38.

Maranhao SRVL; Moura RM de; Pedrosa EMR, 2003. Reaction of Psidium guineense genotypes to Meloidogyne incognita race 1, M. javanica and M. mayaguensis. Nematologia Brasileira, 27(2): 173-178.

Molinari; S; Lamberti F; Crozzoli R; Sharma SB; Sanchez-Portales L, 2005. Isozyme patterns of exotic Meloidogyne spp. populations. Nematologia Mediterranea, 33(1): 61-65.

Moreira WA; Henriques Neto D, 2001. Attack by gall nematode (Meloidogyne mayaguensis) to seedlings of guava obtained from cuttings and grafting. Comunicado Te^acute~cnico da Embrapa Semi-A^acute~rido, No.107:4 pp.

Rammah A, 1989. Morphological and taxonomic studies of certain populations of the root-knot nematodes Meloidogyne arenaria and M. javanica. [Abstract]. Thesis, North Carolina State University, USA. Dissertation Abstracts International, B (Sciences and Engineering) 49, 244.

Rammah A; Hirschmann H, 1988. Meloidogyne mayaguensis n.sp. (Meloidogynidae), a root-knot nematode from Puerto Rico. Journal of Nematology, 20:58-69.

Randig O; Carneiro RMDG; Castagnone-Sereno P, 2004. Identification of Brazilian coffee-damaging species of Meloidogyne using SCAR-coffee markers in multiplex PCR. Nematologia Brasileira, 28(1): 1-10.

Rodriguez MG; Rodriguez I; Sanchez L, 1995. Species of the genera Meloidogyne which parasitize coffee in Cuba. Geographical distribution and symptomatology. Revista de Proteccion Vegetal, 10:123-128.

Rubio-Cabetas MJ; Minot JC; Voisin R; Esmenjaud D; Salesses G; Bonnet A, 1999. Resistance response of the Ma genes from 'Myrobalan' plum to Meloidogyne hapla and M. mayaguensis. HortScience, 34(7):1266-1268; 24 ref.

Silva GS; Pereira AL; Araújo JRG; Carneiro RMDG, 2008. Occurrence of Meloidogyne mayaguensis on Psidium guajava in the State of Maranhão, Brazil. (Ocorrência de Meloidogyne mayaguensis em Psidium guajava no estado do Maranhão.) Nematologia Brasileira, 32(3):242-243.

Skantar AM; Carta LK, 2005. Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) of total genomic DNA from Meloidogyne spp. and comparison to crude DNA extracts in PCR of ITS1, 28S D2-D3 rDNA and Hsp90. Nematology, 7(2): 285-293.

Torres GR de C; Covello VN; Sales R; Pedrosa EMR; Moura RM, 2004. Meloidogyne mayaguensis on Psidium guajava in Rio Grande do Norte. Fitopatologia Brasileira, 29(5): 570.

Torres GR de C; Sales R; Nerivania V; Rehn C; Pedrosa EMR; Moura RM de, 2005. Occurrence of Meloidogyne mayaguensis on guava in the state of Ceara. Nematologia Brasileira, 29(1): 105-107.

Willers P, 1997. First record of Meloidogyne mayaguensis Rammah and Hirschmann, 1988: Heteroderidae on commercial crops in the Mpumalanga province, South Africa. Inligtingsbulletin - Instituut vir Tropiese en Subtropiese Gewasse, No. 294:19-20; 2 ref.

Willers P, 1997. The nematode problem of guava is controlled by the nematicide cadusafos. Inligtingsbulletin - Instituut vir Tropiese en Subtropiese Gewasse, No. 293:10-12.

Distribution Maps

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