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Heterodera elachista the Japanese cyst nematode parasitizing corn in Northern Italy: integrative diagnosis and bionomics

De Luca, Francesca, Vovlas, Nicola, Lucarelli, Giuseppe, Troccoli, Alberto, Radicci, Vincenzo, Fanelli, Elena, Cantalapiedra-Navarrete, Carolina, Palomares-Rius, Juan E., Castillo, Pablo
European journal of plant pathology 2013 v.136 no.4 pp. 857-872
Heterodera, Punctodera, containers, corn, crops, cyst nematodes, cytochrome-c oxidase, genes, greenhouses, heat shock proteins, host plants, host range, mitochondrial DNA, parasitism, phylogeny, ribosomal DNA, rice, soil, soil movement, China, Iran, Italy, Japan
The Japanese cyst nematode Heterodera elachista was detected parasitizing corn cv Rixxer in Bosco Mesola (Ferrara Province) in Northern Italy. The only previous report of this nematode was in Asia (Japan, China and Iran) attacking upland rice; being this work the first report of this cyst nematode in Europe, and confirmed corn as a new host plant for this species. Integrative morphological and molecular data for this species were obtained using D2-D3 expansion regions of 28S rDNA, ITS1-rDNA, the partial 18S rDNA, the protein-coding mitochondrial gene, cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI), and the heat-shock protein 90 (hsp90). Heterodera elachista identified in Northern Italy was morphologically and molecularly clearly separated from other cyst nematodes attacking corn (viz. H. avenae, H. filipjevi, H. delvii, H. oryzae, H. sacchari, H. sorghi, H. zeae, Punctodera chalcoensis, and Vittadera zeaphila) and rice (H. oryzae, H. sacchari). The phylogenetic relationships of H. elachista from Northern Italy with other cyst-nematodes using rDNA and mtDNA showed a separation of the genus Heterodera in various morphospecies groups based on vulval cone structures. The development and parasitic habit of H. elachista on naturally infected corn cv Rixxer confirmed a typical susceptible reaction, including multinucleate syncytial cells in parenchymatic cells. Under greenhouse conditions, H. elachista successfully reproduced on two crops widely used in Northern Italy, such as corn (cv PR 33) and rice (cv Baldo). Considering the limited host-range of this nematode, that include two of the three world’s most important crops, special attention is needed for avoiding the dispersal of this nematode into new areas, by movement of soil on equipment, water, and contaminated containers infested soil, or agricultural practices.