Rev 09/11/2023

 seed gall nematodes Classification Hosts
Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle

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Economic Importance Damage
Distribution Management
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           Anguina Scopoli, 1777

Type species of the genus: Anguina tritici (Steinbuch, 1799) Filipjev, 1936

      Anguillulina (Anguina) (Scopoli, 1777)
      Anguillulina (Gervais and Van Beneden, 1869)
      Nothanguina (Whitehead, 1959) Vibrio tritici Steinbuch, 1799

First recorded plant parasite (Needham, 1743) - second stage juveniles of A. tritici.  Turbeville Needham, microscope, seed galls/smutty wheat, he thought he saw spontaneous generation. 

Quote from Needham (Christie, p. 185) - letter to Royal Society published in Philosophical Transactions of that society:

Genus contains first 3 recorded plant parasites:

Current species list:

Type species A. tritici (Steinbuch, 1799) Chitwood, 1935  (??? check authorities)

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Morphology and Anatomy:


  • Large nematode, up to 4mm, mature females swollen, obese.
  • Stylet is short.  
  • Procorpus generally separated from the median bulb by a constriction.  
  • Median bulb with or without valves.
  • Isthmus generally separated from the postcorpus by a constriction.
  • Esophageal glands enlarged, generally with a slight overlap of the intestine.  
  • Single ovary.  Oocytes in many rows arranged around a rachis (a strand of non-nucleated tissue to which the germ cells appear to be attached).
  • Columned uterus a long multinucleate tube, adapted to high rate of egg production.

Go To Dictionary of Terminology 

[Ref: Fortuner and Maggenti, Rev. Nematol. 10(2):163-176 (1987).]

Body size range for the species of this genus in the database - Click:


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Occurs throughout the world; easily disseminated in seed. 

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Economic Importance:

Nematodes in the genus Anguina  are obligate, specialized parasites of grasses and cereals. They cause necrosis, swelling, deformation, distortion or galls on leaves, stems, inflorescences, or roots.

Gall formation results from plant cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia that is triggered by the nematode feeding. As the age in the adult stage, the vermiform bodies of young females become obese and motionless.

Nematodes of the second juvenile stage in this genus can survive for lon periods of time in a cryptobiotic state that survives long periods of desiccation or freezing or both. Some can remain viable for more than 25 years in this cryptobiotic state. Thus, many species can parasitize above-ground plant parts and are found in semi-arid environments with hot, dry summers, and revive to the infective stage with seasonal rains (Schenck, 2022; Subbotin and Riley, 2012).

Three species,  Anguina agrostis, tritici, and funesta, induce seed galls on some cereals and grasses and are considered of economic importance as agricultural and quarantine pests (Chizhov and Subbotin 1990; Schenck, 2022).

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Endoparasites; all species produce galls on plant leaves, shoots or seeds, especially on grasses.

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For an extensive host range list for this genus, click
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Life Cycle:

For Ecophysiological Parameters for this genus, click 


Related to development of host.

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In seed gall forms, developing seed is converted to a nematode feeding site.  Galls do not germinate as seeds.

The galls induced by several Anguina spp. become exploited to bacteria such as Rathayibacter.  The bacteria may be toxic to grazing animals and humans (for example, see Anguina agrostis and A. tritici).

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Brzeski, M. W. 1981. The genera of Anguinidae (Nematoda, Tylenchida). Rev. Nematol. 4:23-34.

Chizhov, V. N., and Subbotin, S. A. 1990. [Plant-parasitic nematodes of the subfamily Anguininae (Nematoda, Tylenchida). Morphology, trophic specialization, system.] Zool. Zh. 69:15-26 (in Russian).

Fortuner and Maggenti, Rev. Nematol. 10(2):163-176 (1987).

Schenck, H.J. 2022.California Pest Rating Proposal for Anguina pacificae Cid del Prado Vera & Maggenti 1984 Pacific shoot-gall nematode. CDFA, Sacramento, California, USA.

Subbotin, S. A., and I. T. Riley. 2012. Stem and gall nematodes. In Practical Plant Nematology (book) Edited by R. H. Manzanilla-Lopez and N. Marb�n-Mendoza. Biblioteca Basica de Agricultura, p. 521-577.

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Copyright  1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: September 11, 2023.