Severe damage caused by Meloidogyne artiellia on cereals and leguminous in Sicily


The root-knot nematode Meloidogyne artiellia Franklin has been reported in various Italian regions on host plants belonging to the families Graminaceae, Leguminosae and Cruciferae, on which it is responsible for severe yield losses. It had never been detected in Sicily. In spring 2008, the nematode was found in different legume and cereal fields in the area of Caltagirone (province of Catania, Sicily). Fields infested with the nematode showed patches of stunted, chlorotic, withered and dwarfed plants. Moreover, ears of wheat were small and kernels appeared dried; finally, roots were scrubby. Infected plants were durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), broad bean (Vicia faba L.), lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) and vetch (Vicia sativa L.) Root observations showed brownings, small galls and mature females bearing egg masses and larvae at root bifurcations.


Root-knot nematode; cereals; leguminous; Sicily

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