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Title: Occurrence and distribution of cyst nematodes infecting cereals in Sicily, Italy

item LOMBARDO, SALVATORE - University Of Catania
item Handoo, Zafar
item RAPISARDA, CARMELO - University Of Catania
item COLOMBO, ANTONELLO - Observatory For Plant Disease

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/21/2009
Publication Date: 12/31/2009
Citation: Lombardo, S., Handoo, Z.A., Rapisarda, C., Colombo, A. 2009. Occurrence and distribution of cyst nematodes infecting cereals in Sicily, Italy. Proceedings of the First International Cereal Cyst Nematode Initiative Workshop. p.61-65.

Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that attack plant roots and cause an estimated ten billion dollars of crop loss each year in the United States and 100 billion dollars globally. Cyst nematodes are an important group damaging the roots of many kinds of plants worldwide. In order to determine if cyst nematodes are causing agricultural problems, crop specialists routinely conduct field surveys looking for their presence. This brief survey performed by an ARS scientist and Italian scientists reveals the occurrence and distribution of cyst nematodes infecting cereals in Sicily, Italy. Three economically important cyst nematode species were commonly found. The results are significant because they represent the first indication that cyst nematodes may damage cereals in Sicily. Therefore, this report will serve as a useful guide to researchers and diagnosticians identifying economically important cyst nematodes species, especially in cereal-growing areas in Italy.

Technical Abstract: During 2008 and 2009, a survey on specific composition, frequency and geographical distribution of cyst nematodes living on cereals was conducted in Sicily (Italy). Heterodera latipons Franklin and H. hordecalis Andersson appeared to be the most common species in durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) samples. Less widespread was H. avenae Wollenweber, which occurred in a few fields of durum wheat. Laboratory investigations on roots and soil samples revealed, for the species detected, the presence of all developmental stages, with a marked preponderance of adult females and cysts. Symptoms and damage accompanying infestations by the above cyst nematode species were homogeneous in all fields and crops investigated: infested plants were stunted, small and scrubby and possessed small roots.