Potato cyst nematode

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Potato cyst nematode
Potato Cyst Nematode Eelworm.jpg
A potato root showing signs of PCN nodes (Globodera pallida)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nemotoda
Order: Tylenchida
Superfamily: Tylenchoidea
Family: Heteroderidae
Subfamily: Heteroderinae
Genus: Globodera
Species: G. rostochiensis and G. pallida
Potato cyst nematode geographical distribution.png
Locations of G. rostochiensis (purple), G. pallida (light blue) and both (dark blue)[1]
Risk period
Potato cyst nematode

Potato root nematode
G. rostochiensis:
Golden potato cyst nematode
Golden nematode
Kartoffelnematode (German)
Nématode doré de la pomme de terre (French)
Nemátodo dorado (Spanish)
Yellow potato cyst nematode
Heterodera rostochiensis Wollenweber
G. pallida:
Nématode blanc de la pomme de terre (French)
Pale potato cyst nematode
White potato cyst nematode
Heterodera pallida Stone

Heterodera rostochiensis Wollenweber

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) or potato root nematodes (Globodera rostochiensis and Globodera pallida) are 1-mm long roundworms belonging to the genus Globodera, which comprises around 12 species. They live on the roots of plants of the Solanaceae family, such as potatoes and tomatoes. PCN cause growth retardation and, at very high population densities, damage to the roots and early senescence of plants. The nematode is not indigenous to Europe but originates from the Andes. Fields are free from PCN until an introduction occurs, after which the typical patches, or hotspots, occur on the farmland. These patches can become full field infestations when unchecked. Yield reductions can average up to 60% at high population densities.

Identifying Features[edit | edit source]

PCN infestation causes plants to become stunted and they may wilt and have smaller, yellowish leaves. Affected plants have a reduced root system that shows abnormal branching and a brownish tint. Around flowering, minute white, yellow or brown spheres or cysts can be seen on the outside of roots. PCN reduces potential yields even in light infestations. Heavy infestations significantly reduce the size and number of tubers in potatoes[2].

Treatment[edit | edit source]


Prevention[edit | edit source]

There are a number of precautions that can be taken to prevent the introduction and spread of PCN[2].

  • Plant certified seed purchased from recognised, certified-seed producers.
  • Avoid sharing equipment with other growers. The most common way of spreading PCN is in soil or on equipment.
  • Thoroughly clean all equipment moving off a property.
  • Practice crop rotation.
  • Arm yourself with information about the pest - its symptoms and appearance.
  • Regularly examine your crops for patches of poor or yellow potato plants.

Examples[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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