Heterodera africana




Rev 10/17/2023

African Cyst Nematode Classification Hosts
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           Heterodera africana (Luc, Germani & Netscher, 1973) Mundo-Ocampo, Troccoli, Subbotin, Cid, Baldwin & Inserra, 2008.

A member of the Afenestrata group of Heterodera species

  Afenestrata africana (Luc, Germani & Netscher, 1973) Baldwin & Bell, 1985.

  Afrodera africana (Luc, Germani & Netscher, 1973) Wouts, 1985.

  Sarisodera africana Luc, Germani & Netscher, 1973

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Morphology and Anatomy:

General Characteristics of the Afenestrata Group of Heterodera

Cysts lemon-shaped to rounded
Fenestration absent
Bullae absent
Underbridge weak or absent
Vulval slit long
J2 incisures 3 or 4
Monocotyledonous hosts

(Handoo and Subbotin, 2018; Subbotin et al., 2010, Subbotin et al. 2023)




  • Cyst stage present.  
  • Body globose, with very short and thin neck, and pronounced terminal cone with hypertrophied vulval lips. 
  • Cuticle thin and irregularly annulated on neck; thick, with superficial lace-like pattern on rest of body; D-layer absent.  No subcrystalline layer.  
  • Vulva terminal; vulval slit deeply sunken between vulval lips; fenestration, bullae, underbridge absent.  
  • Anus subterminal, on posterior side of cone.    


  • Body twisted. 
  • Lateral field with four lines.
  • Spicules terminal, posteriorly directed, straight, distal extremity pointed; cloacal tube well developed.  
  • No phasmids.  
  • No tail. 
  • Juveniles: Stylet 20 um long.  
  • Lateral field with four lines. 
  • Esophageal glands filling body cavity.  
  • Tail conical, pointed, with hyaline terminal portion half its length.  
  • Phasmids punctiform.  

[Ref: Luc, Maggenti & Fortuner, (1988).]

Reported median body size for this species (Length mm; width micrometers; weight micrograms) - Click:

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Reported from aa guinea grass host (Panicum maximum) in Africa. Distribution appears to be quite limited, mainly in Africa..

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Economic Importance:


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Nurse cell system: A multinucleate syncytium.

The syncytium originated from an endodermal cells, pericyclic and phloematic vascular parenchyma and xylem elements. 

Syncytium cell walls thickened and have cell wall protuberances.

Internal walls of the syncytium perforated and fragmented.

Syncytia have enlarged nuclei and nucleoli.

Inserra et al. (1999).


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Hosts of the Afenestrata group of Heterodera spp. are usually monocotyledonous plants.  Panicum maximum.

For an extensive host range list for this species, click



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Life Cycle:

Ecophysiological Parameters:

For Ecophysiological Parameters for this species, click If species level data are not available, click for genus level parameters


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Host Plant Resistance, Non-hosts and Crop Rotation alternatives:

For plants reported to have some level of resistance to this species, click
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Inserra, R. N.; Vovlas, N.; Lehman, P. S. 1999.  Parasitism of fishpole bamboo roots by Afenestrata koreana. Nematropica 29:105-111.

Handoo, Z.A., Subbotin, S.A. 2018. Taxonomy, identification and principal species. Chapter 15 in Perry, R.N. Moens, M., and Jones, J.T.(eds)  Cyst Nematodes. CAB International.

Luc, Maggenti & Fortuner, Rev. Nematol. 11(2):159-176 (1988).

Mundo-Ocampo, M., Troccoli, A., Subbotin, S.A., Cid, J.D., Baldwin, J.G., Inserra, R.N. 2008. Synonymy of Afenestrata with Atalodera supported by phylogenetics with molecular and morphological characterisation of H. koreana comb. n. and H. orientalis comb. n. (Tylenchida: Heteroderidae). Nematology 10:611-632.

Subbotin, S,A., Mundo-Ocampo, M., Baldwin, J.G. 2010. Systematics of Cyst Nematodes (Nematode: Heteroderinae). Nematology Monographs and Perspectives Volume 8B, D.J. Hunt and R.N. Perry (eds) Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands 512p

Subbotin, S.A., Roubtsova, T.V., Bostock, R.M., Maafi, Z.T., Chizhov, V.N., Palomares-Rius, J.E., Pablo Castillo, P. 2023. DNA barcoding, phylogeny and phylogeography of the cyst nematode species of the Schachtii group from the genus Heterodera (Tylenchida: Heteroderidae). Nematology (in press).

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