Heterodera goettingiana 
Liebscher, 1892 
Pea Cyst Nematode

Synonyms and history. Liebscher (1890) was the first to attribute yellowish stunted pea plants (Pisum sativum L.) at the agriculture institute in Gottingen, Germany to a cyst nematode which he at first considered a strain of H. schachtii. His investigations on this nematode indicated morphological and biological distinctions, which led him to consider the pea cyst nematode as a new species, H. goettingiana (Di Vito and Greco, 1986).

Host range. Winslow (1954) and Jones (1950b) indicate several hosts of H. goettingiana in the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), including peas (Pisum sativum L.), broadbean (Vicia faba), vetch (Vicia spp.), soybean (Glycines max), lentils (Lens sculenta), and weed hosts including Pisum, Vicia, and perhaps Lathyrus. Conflicting reports suggest that populations may differ in their response to ornamental sweet pea or grosspea (Lathyrus odoratus) (Di Vito et al., 1980; Jones, 1950b; Stone and Course, 1986; Thorne, 1961; Winslow, 1954). Di Vito et al. (1980) found that many legumes susceptible to other cyst species are resistant to H. goettingiana, including various clovers (Trifolium spp.), lupine (Lupinus sp.), and chickpea (Cicer arietinum). In the case of chickpea, tissues are invaded but become necrotic and only males develop (Varo Alcala et al., 1970). Attempts to find resistance in garden peas have failed (Oostenbrink, 1951; Stone and Course, 1986). Di Vito and Greco (1986) report a few families and cysts on the nonleguminose plant Asperula arvensis L. Symptoms are typically of cyst nematodes, including patches of stunted and chlorotic plants in the field.

Distribution. H. goettingiana occurs throughout the world, but it is most widespread in Europe including Germany (Goffart, 1941), the Netherlands (Oostenbrink, 1951), Great Britain (Jones, 1965), and Belgium (D’Herde, 1966). It occurs in the former Soviet Republics and in the Mediterranean region including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Israel, and Algeria. It has been reported in the USA (Thorne, 1961), but it is not widespread, and Stone and Course (1986) suggest that U.S. populations are chance introductions. Undoubtedly H. goettingiana, like other cyst nematodes, is spread locally by water and farm vehicles, but possible natural means of long-distance dispersal are unknown.

Biology. The life history of H. goettingiana, from egg through four molts, adult and cyst, is illustrated by Macara (1963) and thoroughly discussed by Stone and Course (1986) and Di Vito and Greco (1986). Cysts with eggs are highly persistent and in cooler climates may remain viable in the absence of a host for 12 years (Brown, 1958; Di Vito and Greco, 1986). Development takes 3-15 weeks depending on soil temperature and moisture as well as host species. Thus, only one or two generations are completed during the growing season for peas in England, but three generations may occur in southern Italy (Di Vito and Greco, 1986). Under ideal conditions, including cool soil (10-13 C), females mate and produce a gelatinous matrix which may have more than 100 eggs; however, under adverse conditions eggs are not usually exuded but are retained within the cyst (Greco et al., 1986). Development is inhibited below 4.4 C or above 25 C, even where soil moisture is adequate (Beane and Perry, 1984; Di Vito and Greco, 1986; Jones, 1975). Unfavorable conditions, including poor hosts, favor development of males (Guevara-Benite et al., 1970; Jones, 1965).

Hatching is greatest at about 15 C. Although age of hosts was not considered in early tests of response to root exudates, more recent investigations indicate that exudates are required for a high percentage of hatch and that exudates from older hosts (e.g., 16-week-old broadbeans) are apparently most effective in stimulating hatch (Beane and Perry, 1983; Shepherd, 1963). Infective juveniles penetrate host roots and induce a syncytium (Volvas and Inserra, 1978), causing stunting and yellowing which is most evident at the flowering stage. In peas, Rhizobium nodulation and nitrogen fixation is inhibited, seed production is greatly reduced, and nematode-infected plants are vulnerable to root invasion and death by soil fungi.

Control. The pea cyst nematode may be highly persistent in some soils; nevertheless, the host range is relatively narrow and 3 to 6 year rotations with nonhosts generally reduce populations to levels that are not damaging. However, possible weed hosts must be carefully controlled in such rotations (Di Vito and Greco, 1986). In some warm regions, such as those with Mediterranean climates (where irrigation can be provided), late varieties of peas can be used which tolerate soil conditions that are too warm for rapid development of the pea cyst nematode (Greco et al., 1986b). Cultivars are not yet available with resistance to H. goettingiana, although some species of Pisum may show some promise as sources of resistance (Di Vito and Perrino, 1978; Di Vito and Greco, 1986). Chemical control of the pea cyst nematode is confounded by its slow rate of hatch; nevertheless a number of nematicides are shown to be useful in management programs (Di Vito and Greco, 1986; Stone and Course, 1986).

(Excerpt taken from “Heteroderinae, Cyst- and Non-Cyst-Forming Nematodes,” Baldwin and Mundo- Ocampo, Manual of Agricultural Nematology, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1991, pp. 316- 7.)