Meloidogyne arenaria




Rev 11/08/2022

Peanut Root-knot nematode  Classification Hosts
Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle
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        Meloidogyne arenaria  (Neal, 1889) Chitwood, 1949

 Peanut Root-knot Nematode

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Morphology and Anatomy:

Meloidogyne arenaria is identified by the cuticular markings in the perineal area of the mature female. The low upper arch is rounded and marked by forking and sworls of striae near the lateral field.

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

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Cosmopolitan in warmer regions of the world (Chitambar et al., 2018).
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Economic Importance:

C-rated pests in California.

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Feeding site establishment and development typical of genus.

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Type Host: Peanut (Arachis hypogaea).

Wide host range, including vegetables, peanut, grasses, fruit, ornamentals, and tobacco. 

For an extensive host range list for this species, click

Three races have described as follows: race 1 reproduces on peanut but not tomato, race 2 reproduces on tomato but not peanut, and race 3 reproduces on tomato and peppers, but not on peanut (L�pez-P�rez et al., 2011; Scheck, 2022).

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Life Cycle:

Females of M. arenaria reproduce by mitotic parthenogenesis. Eggs develop into a  first-stage juvenile that undergoes one molt into a second-stage juvenile while still in the egg. The second-stage juvenile hatches and moves freely in the soil, penetrating plant roots just behind the root cap. The juveniles migrate intercellularly towards the root tip and then turn away from the root tip into the differentiating vascular tissues where they induce a giant cell feeding site. Once it begins feeding,, the nematode enlarges, loses mobility and , if developing into a female, undergoes three more molts to the adult stage.  Juveniles that develop into males undergo a metamorphosis during the third development stage into an elongated vermiform fourth stage which which matures and molts again into an adult vermiform male. The male leaves the cuticles and the root system, not feeding and probably not mating with females. (Scheck, 2022; Triantaphyllou and Hirschmann, 1960).

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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Galling and stunting of host plant roots; with above ground evidence of nutrient deficiency and wilting.

Causes damage to peanuts in southeastern U.S. (e.g., large galls on roots, pegs, pods, and runners; reduced plant growth).  

75% of Japanese forest trees imported into Brazil and planted in M. arenaria-infested soil died.  

Nematode interacts with fungi in disease complexes:  Fusarium oxysporum  infects wilt-resistant tobacco in presence of M. arenaria, M. incognita, and M. javanica.  Similar increase in wilt incidence occurs in watermelon and tomato.  

Peanut root, peg, and pod rot in Florida involves M. arenaria and a series of soil fungi, including Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Aspergillus, etc.  

Use of M. incognita-resistant tobacco varieties in North Carolina has resulted in selection for M. arenaria - which is more pathogenic to tobacco than M. incognita.

Readily mover to new locations in infected roots, bare root propagative material, and anything that moves soil including containers, tools, equipment, machinery, irrigation water, and people. Long distance spread occurs with contaminated nursery stock and other plant material. (Chitambar et al., 2018).

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Nematicides are usually recommended for crops of higher value, i.e., peanuts, tobacco, and peach.  

Systemics (Aldicarb) have been useful in greenhouse ornamentals grown in Europe.

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

For plants reported to have some level of resistance to this species, click

Sources of host-plant resistance have been difficult to find.  Populations able to overcome Meloidogyne resistance in grape rootstocks are often identified as M. arenaria.

In tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) in Virginia, USA, the gene Rk1 provides resistance to Meloidogyne incognita races 1 and 3, and race 1 of M. arenaria. The gene. Rk2 imparts increased resistance to M. javanica when stacked with Rk1.

Combinations of Rk1 and Rk2 did not provide satisfactory resistance to M. arenaria Race 2; however, Nicotiana repanda  appeared to provide some resistance to that race and may be a usfeul source of resistance genes for tobacco (Adamao et al., 2021)  

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Adamo, N., Johnson, C.S., Reed, T.D., Eisenback, J.D. 2021. Reproduction of Meloidogyne arenaria race 2 on flue-cured tobacco with putative resistance derived from Nicotiana repanda. J. Nematology 53: DOI: 10.21307/jofnem-2021-064

Chitambar, J. J., Westerdahl, B. B., and Subbotin, S. A. 2018. Plant Parasitic Nematodes in California Agriculture. In Subbotin, S., Chitambar J., (eds) Plant Parasitic Nematodes in Sustainable Agriculture of North America. Sustainability in Plant and Crop Protection. Springer, Cham.

Scheck, H.J. 2022. California Pest Rating Proposal for Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood, 1949. CDFA, Sacaramnto, California, USA.

Triantaphyllou, A.C, Hirschmann, H. 1960. Post-infection development of Meloidogyne incognita Chitwood, 1949 (Nematoda: Heteroderidae). Annales de l' Institut Phytopathologique, Benaki, 3:3-11

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Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: November 08, 2022.