Punctodera punctata




Rev 06/10/2022

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           Punctodera punctata (Thorne, 1928) Mulvey & Stone, 1976

      Heterodera punctata Thorne, 1928

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Morphology and Anatomy:


Females: Cyst stage present. Body globose, spherical to pear-shaped with short neck and no terminal cone.

Cuticle thick, with superficial, reticulate pattern; subcuticle provided with punctation; D-layer present;
subcrystalline layer present, thick.

Vulva terminal; vulval slit less than 5 µm long, surrounded by a circular circumfenestra; no perineal
papillae; no underbridge; no bullae.

Anus surrounded by circular (anal) fenestra.

Eggs retained in body (no egg mass).

Males: Body twisted.

Lateral field with four lines.

Spicules greater than 30 µm long, slightly curved, distally pointed. No cloacal tubus.

Tail very short, rounded.


Second-stage juveniles: Stylet less than 30 µm long.

Lateral field with four lines.

Esophageal glands filling body cavity.

Tail conical, to conical-effilated with long, hyaline, terminal portion.

Phasmids punctiform.


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

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Fairly widespread in USA, Europe and Russia.

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Economic Importance:

A parasite of cereals but is not usually reported to cause major crop loss. Considered a fairly insignificant pest (Horne and Thames, 1966; Radice et al., 1985). However, it has become established in at least 30 countries on 4 continents representing a diversity of climates. For example, it is present in both Morocco and Iceland (Scheck, 2019).

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Nurse cell system is a syncytium. Females feed as sedentary ectoparasites on the roots of their host plants but males do not feed (Scheck, 2019).

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Wheat and many grasses

For an extensive host range list for this species, click

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Life Cycle:

Probably amphimictic.Female body retains eggs and becomes a protective cyst. Cysts are a dark yellow or brown color.

In Poa annua, P. punctata develops from second stage juveniles to immature white females in 21 days under greenhouse conditions of 22-28� C. Brown cyst containing eggs, new J2s appeared at 40 days. Diapause was observed in that eggs did not immediately hatch, suggesting that population increase is limited to a single generation each year (Radice et al. 1985).

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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Above ground symptoms of Punctodera punctata parasitisdm are consistent with other cyst-forming nematodes. They usually include increased sensitivity to water stress, slower growth and wilting.

Punctodera punctata is usually found in locations where water is abundant during its development, so if the host is not subjected to water stres,s as on golf or sports fields, the plant usually remains symptomless (Nischwitz et al. 2013a, b).

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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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Horne, C. W., and Thames, W. H. 1966. Notes on the occurrence and distribution of Heterodera punctata. Plant Disease Reporter, 50:869-871

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

Mulvey R. H., Stone, A. R. 1976. Description of Punctodera matadorensis n.gen., n.sp. (Nematoda: Heteroderidae) from Saskatchewan with lists of species and generic diagnoses of Globodera (n. rank), Heterodera, and Sarisodera. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 54(5):772-785.

Nischwitz, C., Skantar, A., Handoo, Z. A., Hult, M. N., Schmitt, M. E, and McClure, M. A. 2013a. Occurrence of Meloidogyne fallax in North America, and molecular characterization of M. fallax and M. minor from U. S. golf course greens. Plant Disease 97:1424-1430

 Nischwitz, C., Dhiman, C., Schmitt, M. and McClure, M. 2013b. Cyst nematodes in golf course greens in the western United States. Annual Conference of the American Phytopathological Society (Poster).

Radice, A. D., Myers, R. F., and Halisky P. M. 1985. Studies on the hostr trange, biology and pathogenicity of Punctodera punctata infected turfgrasses. Journal of Nematology 17:162-165

Scheck, H.J. 2019. California Pest Rating Proposal for Punctodera punctata (Thorne, 1928) Mulvey & Stone, 1976. CDFA Sacramento, California, USA.

Thorne, G. 1928. Heterodera punctata n. sp. a nematode parasite on wheat roots from Saskatchewan. Scientific Agriculture, 8:707-711

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Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: June 10, 2022.