The Northern Root-Knot Nematode Meloidogyne hapla: New Host Records in Portugal

Leidy Rusinque, Filomena Nóbrega, Clara Serra, Maria L. Inácio

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Root-knot nematodes (RKNs), Meloidogyne spp., are a group of plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) of great economic significance worldwide. The northern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne hapla, is one of the most important species of RKNs occurring in cold regions. In Portugal so far, M. hapla has been found parasitizing potato and fig trees. During surveys carried out in 2019–2022 in fields for horticultural and ornamental production, soil and root samples were collected. Roots were observed under a stereomicroscope to determine the presence of galls. Nematodes were extracted from the soil. Morphological features showed a high similarity and consistency with previous descriptions of the genus. For molecular analysis, total genomic DNA was isolated from single nematodes and used to amplify in multiplex reaction using the species-specific primers JMV1, JMV2 and JMVhapla, and for sequencing of the ITS region with the primers TW81/AB28. Multiplex PCR amplification produced a specific fragment of 440 bp and PCR amplification of the ITS region yielded a single fragment of 550 bp, as expected. The obtained sequences showed a similarity ranging from 99.8% to 100% with the sequences of M. hapla available in the database. The phylogenetic tree revealed that the isolates grouped with M. hapla isolates. From the 690 samples collected, M. hapla was detected in three different hosts (grapevine, eucalyptus and potato) in four districts of mainland Portugal and on Madeira Island. To our knowledge, this is the first report of M. hapla infecting the grapevine and eucalyptus in Portugal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1567
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • identification
  • phylogenetic
  • SCAR markers
  • sequencing


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