Heterodera (genus)

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Heterodera carotae, anterior end of a second-stage juvenile
Author(s): Christopher Hogger, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture
Source: IPM Images

Heterodera Schmidt, 1871

This genus includes around 50 species of endoparasitic cyst nematodes. Only the second stage larvae (J2) and the males can actively migrate. The J2s are vermiform, 300-500 µm long and have a large stylet. They penetrate plant root cells, feed on their content and migrate within the root. They finally settle and form a permanent feeding site (syncytium) by destroying and dissolving the surrounding cell walls. Females swell and form cysts when they die, containing several hundred eggs. The cysts are about ½ mm in diameter. Males form a smaller syncytium.

Economically, the most important species of Heterodera are:

For other species see the list below.

For a review of the cereal cyst nematodes see Smiley et al. (2017) and Toumi et al. (2018).

Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: