Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2008
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Citation: Hunt, D.J., Handoo, Z.A. 2009. Taxonomy, identification and principal species. In: Perry, R.N., Moens, M. and Starr, J., editors. Root-knot Nematodes. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK: CABI. p.55-97. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Although root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne species) can reduce crop yield worldwide, methods for their identification are often difficult to implement. This review summarizes the diagnostic morphological and molecular features for distinguishing the twelve major previously described root-knot nematode species around the world associated with various economically important crops from several closely related Meloidogyne spp., including their hosts and geographic distribution. Drawings of important diagnostic characters of all the life stages (females, males, and juveniles) illustrating these key features are given. In addition, a detailed historical background, updated systematic position, list of valid species and synonyms, and an amended diagnosis of the genus, with brief information on various techniques for species identification, are discussed. The general techniques for killing, fixing, processing, mounting, using perineal patterns, root staining, and scanning electron microscopy are presented, together with descriptions of diagnostic characters, differential host-range tests, gall formation, differentiating root-knot nematodes from cyst nematodes, and future prospects in root-knot nematode taxonomy and diagnostics.