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Full Access Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) in Europe

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Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) in Europe

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In Europe, root-knot nematodes are increasingly important. Out of more than 90 Meloidogyne species currently described, 23 have been found on the continent. In the cooler climates, Meloidogyne hapla, M. naasi, M. chitwoodi and M. fallax are prevalent. Meloidogyne arenaria, M. javanica and M. incognita are the most common species in warmer conditions of southern Europe, but also in glasshouses in northern Europe. Morphological identification of root-knot nematodes is difficult and time consuming; therefore, many research groups have been developing molecular techniques for identification of Meloidogyne species. Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax are quarantine organisms and subject to regulations, and the highly aggressive M. enterolobii has been added to the EPPO alert list. Differences between temperate and tropical Meloidogyne species and their prevalence in Europe imply the need for different management strategies in south and north Europe. Possible crop rotations for the control of root-knot nematodes are limited due to the wide host range of several important species. The banning of methyl bromide and restrictions on other fumigant pesticides in the EU have increased the application of biofumigation significantly in south Europe. The egg-parasitising fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus is commercialised in Germany and applied as dispersible granules for application in water. Intensive research is conducted on the egg-parasitising fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia, and the obligate parasitic bacterium Pasteuria penetrans. European research has paid much attention to resistance breeding and selection. The Mi gene of tomato is widely used but resistance-breaking populations of M. incognita and M. javanica have been reported in different countries.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 96, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium;, Email:; 2: Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 96, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium; 3: Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 96, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium, Ghent University, Laboratory for Agrozoology, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium


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