Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2010
Publication Date: July 12, 2010
Citation: Skantar, A.M., Handoo, Z.A., Zanakis, G.N., Tzortzakakis, E.A. 2010. Morphological and molecular description of Heterodera zeae from a corn field in Greece. Journal of Nematology. 42(3):268. Technical Abstract: The corn cyst nematode Heterodera zeae was first described from India, where it has wide distribution. This nematode has also been reported from Pakistan, Egypt, Thailand, Nepal, and Portugal. Within the U.S., H. zeae was first found in Maryland, primarily in heavy silt-clay soils at fairly low densities. It has since been reported in Virginia. There is limited information regarding nematodes attacking cereals in Greece, and thus far, the only cyst nematode reported was Heterodera avenae on wheat. In May 2009, a soil sample containing abundant cysts was taken from an organic corn field in northern Greece; the field was under winter fallow at the time of sampling. Soil from the field site was used to fill 1.5L pots, which were planted with corn (Zea mays) and grown in a greenhouse. Females appeared after six weeks incubation, and abundant cysts were present after 12 weeks. Morphological and molecular diagnosis confirmed the presence of H. zeae. Amplification of ribosomal DNA markers included the 28S large subunit (LSU) D2-D3 expansion segment and internal transcribed spacer (ITS 1&2 rDNA). Analysis of ITS PCR-RFLP patterns revealed nucleotide variation that was further confirmed by analysis of cloned ITS amplicons. These results are in agreement with prior molecular analysis of H. zeae populations from the U.S. and India. This study represents the first record of H. zeae in Greece and the second report of this nematode in Europe.