Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Docs » Nematology

headline bar

Potato Cyst Nematodes -
Pests of National Importance

Globodera rostochiensis (golden nematode) &
Globodera pallida (pale cyst nematode)

What are Potato Cyst Nematodes (PCNs)?

? Both PCNs are internationally-
   recognized   quarantine pests of potato.

? The PCN known as golden nematode
   was    discovered in NY in 1941. It has
   been successfully    confined to nine
   counties in New York.
? The PCN known as pale cyst nematode was discovered in Idaho in 2006.

? Both nematodes reside in Canada with recent discoveries of the golden nematode
   in Quebec and in seed production fields in Alberta.

? Both species of PCNs are distributed in potato-growing areas worldwide.


Why are PCNs a Threat to US Agriculture?



? Once PCNs are introduced, eradication is difficult and perhaps unlikely.
   PCN cysts can survive for more than 30 years in soil depths up to 40

? If PCNs become established in U.S. potato, tomato, and eggplant
   production areas, annual crop losses could reach $4.8 billion.

? If PCNs spread to new sites in the U.S, trade embargoes could result,
   compromising domestic and international trade. Quarantines would
   affectthe potato industry as well as any agricultural commodity shipped

   from the regulated areas and carrying soil (e.g. all nursery, turf, root, and tuber crops) in the regulated areas.


What PCN management strategies are currently used in New York?

? PCN control requires strict adherence to regulatory and quarantine procedures and
   annual surveys of infested and potentially exposed lands.

? Commercially marketable PCN-resistant potatoes are grown in affected fields.

? In NY, the USDA-APHIS and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
   work cooperatively with research and extension leaders and with growers to
   implement appropriate nematode management plans.

How does Research Help to Manage and Control PCNs?

? The joint ARS-Cornell PCN-research program is the only program in North America that has extensive expertise in PCN
   biology, resistance breeding, and PCN management strategies, and it plays a vital role for PCN control in the U.S.

? Our research program focuses on four major areas:
  -Develops and releases PCN-resistant potato varieties.
  -Uses molecular tools to develop diagnostics for faster identifications.
  -Uses multiple technologies to discover novel approaches to PCN management.
  -Provides scientific & technical support to USDA-APHIS and NYS nematode quarantine programs.


Contacts For More Information for The ARS-Cornell PCN Program

PCN Biology and control - Xiaohong Wang, ARS nematologist, 607-255-7845,
PCN resistant potato varieties - Walter De Jong (plant breeder), 607-254-5384,
PCN resistant seed production - Keith Perry (plant pathologist), 607-254-8243,
PCN resistant potato cultural practices-Don Halseth (horticulturalist), 607-255-5460,
USDA-APHIS PCN Program - Dan Kepich , 607-566-2212,
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets PCN Program - Bill Nastyn, 518-457-2087,