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Xiphinema americanum Cobb, 1913
This nematode is widely distributed and a free-living ectoparasite found in the soil. It parasitises the roots of a large variety of plants. The attacked plants often do not show symptoms, unless populations are high. Heavy infestations can cause swelling of the roots and reduced plant vigour. Economically more significant is its ability to transmit several nepoviruses like Tobacco ringspot virus or Tomato ringspot virus.
Taxonomically, this nematode is regarded as a species complex that includes more than 50 species which are morphologically very similar. For an identification guide to this species complex see the EPPO (2917) Standard PM 7/95 (2). Xiphinema americanum sensu stricto has been only reported from North America and Africa, while the whole complex has a world-wide distribution. Since these species are soil-borne they can be transported with soil and are a quarantine risk. Apart from X. americanum sensu stricto, other important members of the complex are: