Molecular Plant Pathology – Pathogen Profiles

Root-knot nematode parasitism and host response: molecular basis of a sophisticated interaction

Pierre Abad, Bruno Favery, Marie-Noëlle Rosso and Philippe Castagnone-Sereno

INRA, Unité Interactions Plantes-Microorganismes et Santé Végétale, 123 Bd. Francis Meilland, BP2078, 06606 Antibes Cedex, France

Taxonomy:Eukaryota; Metazoa; Nematoda; Chromadorea; order Tylenchida; Tylenchoidea; Heteroderidae; genus Meloidogyne.

Physical Properties:Microscopic-non-segmented worms. Meloidogyne species can reproduce by apomixis, facultative meiotic parthenogenesis or obligate mitotic parthenogenesis. Obligate biotrophic parasites inducing the re-differentiation of plant cells into specialized feeding cells.

Hosts:Meloidogyne spp. can infest more than 3000 plant species including vegetables, fruit trees, cereals and ornamental flowers.

Disease Symptoms:
Root swellings called galls. Alteration of the root vascular system.

Disease control:
Cultural control, chemical control, resistant cultivars.

Agronomic importance: Major threat to agriculture in temperate and tropical regions.

Fig. 1 Symptoms of Meloidogyne incognita attack on Ficus roots.