Meloidogyne chitwoodi

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Meloidogyne chitwoodi Golden et al., 1980 - (Columbia root-knot nematode)

The nematode is of economic importance in North America and also in Europe, where it is a quarantine species in some countries. It was first described from the Columbia River area in the north-western U.S.A. It attacks mainly potatoes but also black salsify, carrots and other crops, causing root galls and stunting. In potatoes, the nematode causes galls on the tubers and small brown spots internally. Such defects can cause rejection of the crop and infections are not acceptable for export crops or seed potatoes at any level.

Usually, the nematode is introduced into a field by infected seed potatoes. Eggs and juveniles overwinter in the soil. Second stage juveniles are about 300-400 µm long and 10-15 µm wide. They enter the tubers and roots causing the formation of galls. Control by nematicides and crop rotation with cereals is recommended. Efforts to find resistant cultivars have not yet produced resistance in commercial potato cultivars.

Vernacular names
• English: Columbia root-knot nematode
• Français: nématode cécidogène du Columbia

The females in the galls are white and pear-shaped, about ½-1 mm long. The life cycle lasts about 3-4 weeks under suitable conditions.

For a review of its identification and biology see the EPPO Bulletin (2016).