Some Plant Parasitic Nematodes of Fruit Trees in Northern Khorasan Province, Iran

Document Type : Research Article


1 Islamic azad university branch of Bojnourd

2 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


Introduction: Nematodes (Phylum Nematoda) are considered as one of the most abundant and diverse animals on earth. They are found in terrestrial, freshwater, brackish, and marine environments and play important ecological roles in soil ecosystems. The order Tylenchida includes the largest and economically most important group of plant-parasitic nematodes so they have always received ample taxonomic attention. Many plant parasitic nematode species are important pests of fruit trees. They damage the plant by directly attacking roots and subsequently predisposing them to secondary infections by bacteria, fungi by causing replant and pre-plant problems of orchards and also by transmission of viruses. Plant parasitic nematodes feed on a plant root system, ability to take up water and minerals and to transport nutrients to the shoot. This restricts root growth reduce plant vitality and inhibits shoot growth, the combination of which results in decreased in quality and yield. The economically most important species belong to the genera Meloidogyne, Pratylenchus, criconemella, Logidorus, Xiphinema, Trichodorus and Paratrichodorus and are widely distributed in fruit orchards throughout the world. Nematode species are classically defined on the basis of these qualitative and quantitative characters. Although morphological information might help species diagnostics, these characters are homoplasious features in many cases and do not adequately consider the possibility of convergent evolution. As a result, new species descriptions are increasingly supported by molecular evidence. However, the study of morphology remains a critical necessity as morphology is the primary interface of an organism with its environment with key implications for development and ecology. Therefore, a more robust phylogeny based on a combination of morphological and molecular approaches is needed to clarify important relationships within Tylenchomorpha. The purpose of the present investigation was the identification of plant-parasitic nematodes of fruit trees based on morphological and morphometrical characters in Northern Khorasan province.
Materials and Methods: In order to investigate the biodiversity of plant parasitic nematodes of fruit cultivation in Northern Khorasan Province, 70 soil samples were collected during 2011-2012. Nematodes were extracted by centrifugal flotation technique and transferred to glycerin according to the modified De Grisse method (1969). The permanent slides were prepared from the extracted nematodes. The nematodes were identified by light microscopy, based on morphological and morphometrical characters. Measurements and drawings were performed using a drawing tube attached to an Olympus BH2 light microscope. The ratios and the morphometric symbols used in morphometric tables of each specimen. Nematodes were identified based on morphological and morphometrical characters using identification keys.
Results and Discussion: In this study, 17 species from 13 genera belonged to sub order Tylenchina were identified as follows: Aphelenchoides richardsoni, Aphelenchus avenae, Basiria graminophila, Boleodorus thylactus, Ditylenchus filimus, D. medicaginis, Filenchus cylindricaudatus, F. thornei, Geocenamus tenuidens, Helicotylenchus digonicus, H. pseudorobustus, Heterodera schachtii, Merlinius brevidens, Pratylenchus neglectus, P. thornei, Tylenchorhynchus latus, Zygotylenchus guevarai.
Among these species, Pratylenchus neglectus, Merlinius brevidens and Boleodorus thylactus were more frequent, respectively. Ditylenchus filimus is reported for the first time from Iran. D. filimus is characterized by low and striated head, stylet 7-9 µm, median bulb muscular, glandular bulb offset, posterior vulva( V=81-85), PUS=0.5-1.1, tail conical with very sharp and pointed terminus.
Conclusion: In this study, 17 species from 13 genera belong to suborder Tylenchina were identified. Among these species, Pratylenchus neglectus, Merlinius brevidens and Boleodorus thylactus had the most frequency respectively. Ditylenchus filimus is reported for the first time from Iran.


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