J. A. Brito, Division of Plant Industry, Gainesville, FL 32614-7100;
H. Han, Division of Forest Insect Pests and Diseases, Korea Forest Research Institute, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 130-712;
J. D. Stanley, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, FL 32614-7100;
M. Hao, Division of Plant Industry, Gainesville, FL 32614-7100; and
D. W. Dickson, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
Roots of laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia Michx.), member of the family Fagaceae, were found to be heavily galled by the pecan root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne partityla, in two separate home gardens between 2010 and 2012, in Alachua Co., FL. Distinct round galls were observed on secondary and tertiary roots. Internally, root-knot nematode females were clearly visible when the roots were thinly sliced and egg masses were seen protruding from the root surfaces. The nematode species identification was performed using morphology of the male stylet, selected characters of the second-stage juveniles (J2), female perineal patterns, and esterase (EST) and malate dehydrogenase (Mdh) isozyme phenotypes. Morphology of perineal patterns of females, body, stylet, and tail length of the J2 and males all matched those of the original description of M. partityla (2). A swollen deeply grooved rectum was observed in the J2. The male stylet had a blunt tip with a prominent thickening at the junction between the cone and shaft. The stylet knobs of males and females were bipartite, each incised by a deep medium longitudinal groove (2). The isozyme phenotypes (EST = Mp3; Mdh = N1a) were consistent with those previously reported for M. partityla from Florida (1). Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) (3) and ribosomal internal transcriber spacer (ITS) DNA (4) of females were amplified to further confirm the nematode species identification. The mtDNA amplification using the C2F3/1108 primer set (3) and the ITS amplification using a recently available M. partityla specific primer set (4) produced fragments of approximately 530 bp and 550 bp, respectively. These were consistent with those already reported for this nematode species. This first report of a plant host for the pecan root-knot nematode outside of the family Juglandaceae indicates that the nematode may have migrated from Quercus species to pecan trees during the period when orchards were being established in Florida. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the pecan root-knot nematode infecting laurel oak.
References: (1) J. A. Brito et al. Nematology 10:757, 2008. (2) Kleynhans, K. P. N. Phytophylatica 18:103, 1986. (3) T. O. Powers et al., J. Nematol. 37:226, 2005. (4) R. A. Stamler. M. S. thesis, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, 2009.