Heterodera cruciferae Franklin, 1945
Cabbage Cyst Nematode
Synonyms: Heterodera (Heterodera) cruciferae Franklin,
1945 (Skarbilovich, 1959)
Etymology: named for an earlier name for the main family of plant hosts, the
Brassicaceae (formerly Cruciferae).
Median esophageal bulb large, sub-spherical with
pore at base of neck, at level of
center of median bulb valve.
Females are white throughout development, turning
brown at death. A large gelatinous matrix (egg sac),
often almost as large as the female body and containing
many eggs, is exuded through the vulva (Jones, 1950) and
is probably secreted by uterine cells (Mackintosh, 1960).
Cyst: Broad, almost spherical to
lemon shape. Cyst wall tough and dark brown, bearing irregular
punctations, a reticulate pattern of ridges and a
subcrystalline layer, the latter lost in old cysts.
cysts, the semifenestrae are unobstructed, but in newly
formed cysts, the body wall may still be intact.
A narrow underbridge, formed from lateral bands of supporting
tissue, connects the proximal end of the vagina with the
vulval cone wall; the underbridge may be lost from older
cysts (absent in 25% of specimens examined by Mulvey,
Head offset with 3-4 head annules.
Stylet robust, cone about 40% of total
length, basal knobs massive with anterior face flat to concave.
Esophageal gland extending
posteriorly to about 33% of body length.
Tail tapering uniformly to a finely rounded terminus,
with terminal hyaline zone about 50% tail length and
equal to stylet length. Hyaline portion of tail often
seen to contain refractive inclusions.
Phasmid 33% of tail
length behind anus.
Males: Vermiform, with rounded tail
less than 1/5 body width long. Body adopting a curved
position after heat relaxation, the posterior part often
twisted 90 or 180 degrees.
Cuticle annulated, 4 incisures in lateral
Male lip region slightly offset, with 5-6 lip annules.
Heavily sclerotized, head skeleton.
Well developed stylet, cone 40% of total
length; large knobs swept backwards.
Median esophageal bulb a slender ellipse with
Esophageal gland extending posteriorly beyond excretory
pore to about 15% of body length. Subventral section
Reported median body size for this species (Length mm; width micrometers; weight micrograms) - Click:
Male with single testis, not reflexed.
bidentate with two pores below spicule
a simple rod.
Phasmids one body-width anterior to
California, South Australia; widely distributed in Europe.
pest in California Nematode Pest
Feeding site establishment and development
typical of genus.
All species and varieties of Brassica and other Brassicaceae.
Sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris) is a non-host or very poor host.
Development and basic biology are similar to those of other
On cabbage grown in South Wales, two complete generations
occur between April and early September, but second-stage juveniles invading in September developed only as far as immature females
by December (Lewis, 1971). Second-stage juveniles did not invade
roots at temperatures below 4 C, but nematodes in the roots
continued to develop slowly throughout the winter.
H. cruciferae is unusual among temperate cyst-nematode
species in parasitizing winter-grown crops, and the number of
generations produced on a crop depends on the growing period and
sowing date, with a maximum of three generations on late
cultivars of Brussels sprouts grown in northwest Europe.
H. cruciferae is amphimictic; there is no information
about environmental effects on sex ratio. The bivalent chromosome
number is 9 as in other amphimictic cyst-nematodes (Sheperd,
Mean number of eggs per cyst is 118. The gelatinous
matrix, lost from many old cysts, contains from one to
about 200 eggs and, in some instances, trapped males
Hatching of H. cruciferae eggs can be stimulated by
exposure to root diffusates from Brassica spp., but not
by the diffusates of other cruciferous hosts (Winslow, 1953;
Males do not feed.
[Ref: CIH Descriptions of Plant-parasitic Nematodes, Set 6,
No. 90 (1972)]
Heterodera cruciferae is not a major pest, but it can
cause significant damage to brussels sprouts in California (Lear,
rotation is useful, since this nematode species has a
limited host range.
Use of nematicides
(1,3-Dichloropropene (1,3-D) at 30 gal/acre) is effective for
controlling damage to brussels sprouts in California (Lear,
1971); Stirling & Wicks (1975) used similar amounts in
Australia to increase yields of cabbage.
[Ref: CIH Descriptions of Plant-parasitic Nematodes,
Set 6, No. 90 (1972)]