Rotylenchulus reniformis Linford and Oliveira, 1940
Linford and Oliviera established the genus Rotylenchulus in 1940
with R. reniformis as the type species. The generic name was given by
Linford and Oliviera because they thought that the nematode species was similar
to the genus Rotylenchus, having features of that genus and other
Hoplolaimidae. The species name was coined because of the
kidney shape of the mature female.
Drawing by Charles S. Papp, CDFA
Body vermiform, slender and spiral to C-shaped when
Length about 0.4 mm.
Stylet knobs are rounded and slope posteriorly.
The median bulb of the
esophagus has a distinct valve
and the basal glands of esophagus overlap the intestine laterally and
The vulva is not prominent, and occurs at about 70%
of the body length.
Ovaries paired and opposed with double flexure. .
Tail tapers to a narrow rounded terminus.
kidney-shaped, with an irregularly neck, 0.38-0.52 mm long.
The vulva has raised lips.
The body beyond the anus is hemispherical, with a
slender terminal portion 5-9 Âµm long.
Ovaries very long, convoluted; vulva
Eggs deposited in a gelatinous matrix.
Vermiform. Anterior end reduced;
The esophagus is degenerate with reduced median bulb
Males do not feed.
spicules are elongate-slender, ventrally curved.
alae present but difficult to see, not quite
reaching tail end.
Juveniles and males remain in soil.
Reported median body size for this species (Length mm; width micrometers; weight micrograms) - Click:
Rotylenchulus reniformis is widely distributed in many tropical and
subtropical regions of the world. It has been reported in tropical and
sub-tropical West and Central Africa;
Central and South America; Southeast Asia, the Carribean, Mexico, Japan, the
Middle East, South Pacific, Italy, Spain, China and the Far East.
Within the United States the reniform nematode is known to be established in
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North
Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Its reported pattern of distribution
suggests that it is likely to be present in southwestern Tennessee and possibly
In Hawaii on cowpea; also in the Southeastern U.S., and in
In California, R. reniformis infested Phoenix roeselenii and
Cycas sp. plants were detected in San Diego in 1960, having entered the
state in a quarantine shipment. The plants had been established in a residential
property before a confirmed diagnosis of the pest had been completed.
Subsequently, the plants were removed from the infested site and fumigated with
methyl bromide. The planting site was also fumigated with methyl bromide.
in California Nematode Pest Rating System.
Crop stunting due to Rotylenchulus reniformis damage. Photo by
Although not closely related (taxonomically) to citrus nematode (Tylenchulus
semipenetrans), R. reniformis does have some similarities to it
in terms of feeding habits.
Nurse cells form near pericycle - 100-200 per female in soybean.
Nurse cell system is stimulated by feeding which causes hypertrophy of pericycle
and endodermis cells, increased cytoplasm density, but cells remain uninucleate
with large nucleolus. Walls may rupture to form a syncytium.
Syncytium about 2 cells deep may extend half way around root in soybeans.
Syncytia are stimulated primarily in pericycle tissues (phase 1: cell wall lysis;
phase 2: anabolic phase - increase in organelles of affected cells).
The nematode also feeds on cortical cells of cowpea and phloem of cotton.
Many species of cultivated plants and fruit trees, cotton, cowpea, tea, and
soybean; pineapple in Hawaii.
The reniform nematode attacks over 140 species of more than 115 plant
genera in 46 families (Jatala, 1991).
Some of the economically important host plants are: banana, cabbage,
cantaloupe, cassava, citrus, kale, lettuce, mango, okra, pigeon pea, pineapple,
pumpkin, coconut, cotton, radish, cowpea, soybean, sweet potato, crimson clover,
tobacco, eggplant, tomato and guava.
Sugarcane was recommended as rotation crop based on field observations
indicating that the nematode is not present. However, the rotation was
rarely used when effective nematicides
were readily available. With
reduction in nematicide use, there have been reports of damage to pineapple
Rotylenchulus reniformis is a pest of sugarcane in West Africa and of
cotton in Louisiana.
Rotylenchulus reniformis is a sedentary, semi-endoparasite in the
mature female stage. The reniform nematode reproduces sexually. It may also reproduce
Graphic by Charles Overstreet.
In Louisiana, R. reniformis causes a 40-60% reduction in cotton yield,
with a comcomitant increase in Fusarium wilt.
In the presence of this nematode, Fusarium wilt-resistant varieties of cotton
also become susceptible.
Above ground symptoms on host plants include dwarfing, shedding of leaves,
formation of malformed fruit and seeds, and general symptoms of an impaired root
system. Below ground, roots are discolored and necrotic (dead) with areas of
decay. Plant mortality is possible in heavy infestations.
In experiments in Hawaii, pineapple fruit weight increased with increasing
population densities up to 300–310 nematodes/250 cm3 soil but
decreased at 1020–1360 nematodes/250 cm3. Preplant populations
of R. reniformis below 300 nematodes/250 cm3 soil
damage pineapple but are not the major factor limiting yield. Yield losses at
these population levels may be offset by managing soil fertility and physical
soil factors. R. reniformis becomes the major yield-limiting
factor at population densities above 1000 nematodes/250 cm3 soil (Sipes
and Schmitt, 2000).
Rotylenchulus reniformis is a Class A pest in California.
The CDFA Nematode Study Committee recommended the adoption of a reniform
nematode quarantine independent of any other nematode quarantine measures.
California Department of Food and Agriculture's Reniform Nematode Exterior
Quarantine Program was established in 1997 in order to continue to prevent the
introduction of this nematode species through infested plant and associated
materials in out-of-state shipments to California. Similar to the burrowing
nematode quarantine program, a secondary screening mechanism exists
in the nursery certification program.
The CDFA Nematology Laboratory made 13 detections in 1989, 9 in 1990, 6 in
1991, 2 in 1992, 5 in 1993, 2 in 1994, 4 in 1995, 8 in 1996, 6 in 1997 and 9 in
Infested Phoenix roeselenii and Cycas sp. plants detected in
San Diego in 1960 were established in a residential property before a confirmed
diagnosis of the pest had been completed. Subsequently, the plants were removed
from the infested site and fumigated with methyl bromide. The planting site was
also fumigated with methyl bromide.
Infestations of R. reniformis on established Yucca gloriosa plants
were first detected in 13 residential properties in Highland, San Bernardino
County during a residential grid survey in 1967. The infestation was traced to
yuccas brought into California from Harlingen, Texas and planted in the
subdivision. The infested areas were treated with Nemagon (DBCP). In 1971, the
nematode was detected again in the same locality. Despite a second treatment of
Nemagon, new infestations of the nematode appeared in 1973 and 1974. Subsequent
herbicide and fumigation trials were conducted, and on December 31,1978, R.
reniformis was officially declared eradicated from the infested areas in San
In 1980, the nematode was detected again from areas found free of the
nematode in the 1970's. The current status of the San Bernardino infestation is
not known (Chitambar, 1997).
(1,3-D) (Telone) (8 gal/acre)
Temik (6 lb/acre) on cotton and pineapple.
Studies on the effects of the reniform nematode on yields of various
vegetable crops, grown in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, have shown that soil
fumigation prior to planting significantly increased yields in reniform nematode
infested fields (Robinson et al., 1987). Soil fumigation with dichloropropene (Telone)
type fumigants significantly increased crop yields for cotton, tomato, lettuce,
and soybean. In one experiment 1,3-dichloropropene plus aldicarb, when compared
with fenamiphos, phorate, terbufos, and aldicarb, provided the greatest
protection. In another, aldicarb, carbofuran, and phorate were effective against
the reniform nematode infesting Thompson seedless grapevines, with aldicarb
providing the maximum yield increase.
Repeat foliar sprays of
oxamyl were the most effective against reniform
nematodes infesting tomato and cotton (Rich and Bird, 1973). Methyl bromide will
be unavailable as of 2005. The availability of the other pesticides listed will
depend upon their registration status when needed.
Soil Solarization - Soil solarization in Egypt controlled the reniform
nematode for 60 days after planting; it improved plant growth and increased
yields by 25 to 40 percent in broad beans, onions, tomatoes, and clover in
various types of soils.
Crop Rotation - Rotation of soybeans with corn, sorghum, and wheat
reduced populations of reniform nematode. Plantings of poor host species can
reduce the reniform nematode numbers in soil more effectively than fallow
Reniform nematode is a significant problem on
both cotton and soybean in Mississippi. Resistant varieties of soybean are
available, but not of cotton. Soybeans are usually rotated with cotton, but that
rotation is a problem when reniform nematode is present. In that case,
nematicides are used prior to the cotton crop. For soybeans, a 1 yeasr
rotation to a non-host crop is effective (Coblentz, 2005).
Some non-hosts reported as good rotational crops
for cotton include: sorghum
(Heald, 1974), maize (Braithwaite, 1974), two years with reniform resistant
soybeans (Gilman et al., 1978), and sugarcane and Pangolagrass (Heald and
Sugarcane has been recommended as a rotation crop for pineapple in Puerto
Rico and Hawaii, but may be based on poor information. Rotation not
effective with Hawaiian sugarcane (it may be a host, but additional research in
A few reports of plant resistance have been documented
in Gossypium spp. (controlled by 2 or more pair of genes) and tomato in
Egypt and India (Oteifa and Osman, 1974). The following plants have been
reported as showing immunity or resistance to the reniform nematode: barley, hot
pepper, barnyard grass, sweet pepper, sweet sorghum, pangola grass, spinach,
mustard, sugarcane and oats (Armstrong and Jensen, 1978; Bridge, 1983; Inserra
et al., 1983).
Soybean varieties - Peking, Dyer, Custer, Pickett - have a hypersensitive response to
nematode, but there is no increase in metabolic activity of cells.
Host Plant Resistance, Non-hosts
Break anhydrobiotic survival stage by pre-irrigation 3 months before
pineapple - increase decline (Caswell, Apt).
Soil Amendments - Animal manures and cotton seed cakes have been used
(Badra et al., 1979).
Neem, castor leaves, cowpea and okra have proven to be as affective as
carbofuran granules in India (Rao et al., 1996).
Powders of sour orange peel, stored garlic cloves and tobacco leaves gave
84-92% female nematode reduction (Amin and Youssef, 1998).
Soil application of certain Tagetes spp. plant wastes also controlled
the reniform nematode.
Fortuner, 1987. Rev. Nematol. 10:219-232
Linford and Oliveira (1940)
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development of Rotylenchulus reniformis on resistant and susceptible
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