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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368270

Research Project: Molecular Systematics, Identification, Biology, and Management of Crop-Parasitic Nematodes

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Title: Molecular and morphological characterization of the alfalfa cyst nematode, Heterodera medicaginis, from Utah

Author
item Handoo, Zafar
item Skantar, Andrea
item Hafez, Saad - University Of Idaho
item Kantor, Mihail - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Hult, Maria
item Rogers, Stephen

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/6/2020
Publication Date: 3/17/2020
Citation: Handoo, Z.A., Skantar, A.M., Hafez, S.A., Kantor, M.R., Hult, M.N., Rogers, S.T. 2020. Molecular and morphological characterization of the alfalfa cyst nematode, Heterodera medicaginis, from Utah. Journal of Nematology. 19(52):1065-1081.

Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that cause an estimated ten billion dollars of crop losses each year in the United States and 100 billion dollars globally. Cyst nematodes are the most economically important groups of plant-parasitic nematodes that damage the roots of many kinds of plants worldwide. One problem with cyst nematodes is that growers have no idea of how many kinds of nematodes exist. Some cyst nematodes infect alfalfa plants, which are important as feed for livestock and food for humans. In this study, a team of ARS scientists and a colleague from Idaho analyzed anatomical and molecular traits to identify the alfalfa cyst nematode isolated from alfalfa in Utah. This is the first report of this nematode from Utah. This discovery is significant because new molecular and morphological information obtained for this species will facilitate future identifications of alfalfa cyst nematode. This report will serve as a useful guide to researchers and diagnosticians identifying important cyst nematodes from the genus Heterodera.

Technical Abstract: In the spring of 2019, a cyst nematode was discovered from soil samples collected from an alfalfa field in Millard County, Utah. The soil samples were submitted to one of us (SH), who extracted the nematode cysts and sent them to the USDA-ARS, Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory (MNGDBL), Beltsville, MD, for morphological and molecular identification. Cysts and living nematode juveniles (J2) recovered from the cysts were examined morphologically and molecularly for species identification, which indicated that the specimens were alfalfa cyst nematode, Heterodera medicaginis. This represents the first record of H. medicaginis in Utah and the second report of this nematode in North America.