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Diversity of root-knot nematodes in Moroccan olive nurseries and orchards: does Meloidogyne javanica disperse according to invasion processes?

Aït Hamza, Mohamed, Ali, Nadine, Tavoillot, Johannes, Fossati-Gaschignard, Odile, Boubaker, Hassan, El Mousadik, Abdelhamid, Mateille, Thierry
BMC ecology 2017 v.17 no.1 pp. 41
Meloidogyne javanica, Olea europaea, climate, environmental factors, esterases, habitats, olives, orchards, physicochemical properties, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, production technology, risk, root-knot nematodes, soil sampling, Morocco
BACKGROUND: Root-knot nematodes (RKN) are major pest of olive tree (Olea europaea ssp. europaea), especially in nurseries and high-density orchards. Soil samples were collected from main olive growing areas of Morocco, to characterize Meloidogyne species and to discuss the contribution of biotic and abiotic factors in their spatial distribution. RESULTS: RKN were found in 159 soil samples out of 305 from nurseries (52.1% occurrence) and in 11 out of 49 soil samples from orchards (23.2% occurrence). Biochemical and molecular characterisation (PAGE esterase and SCAR) revealed the dominance of M. javanica both in nurseries and orchards with minor presence of M. incognita only in nurseries, and M. arenaria in only one nursery. RKN were distributed on aggregated basis. Frequent presence of M. javanica in orchards might have come from nurseries. In contrast, the detection of M. incognita in nurseries alone suggests that this species could not reproduce in orchards because of either the competition with other plant-parasitic nematodes or unfit local habitats. The impact of environmental variables (climate, habitat origin and physicochemical characteristics of the substrates) on the distribution of Meloidogyne species is also discussed. CONCLUSION: Olive nurseries in Morocco are not able to guarantee the safety of rooted plants. As a result, olive production systems are exposed to strong RKN invasion risks. Consequently, the use of healthy substrates in nurseries may prevent plant-parasitic nematode induction in orchards.