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Pest Description
IDENTITY: Scientific name: Meloidogyne mali
Itoh, Ohshima & Ichinoe,1969
 Common name: A root-knot nematode

NOTES ON TAXONOMY AND BIOLOGY: Female M mali. have an oval cuticular  perineal pattern with a flat dorsal arch as with M. arenaria. This species can be separated from M. arenaria by a characteristic double ridge of striae, which are present in the inner part of the lateral field. This root-knot nematode has sedentary endoparasitic habits. Second-stage juveniles (J2) penetrate host roots where they establish a specialized feeding site (giant cells) in the stele. As J2 develop, they cause root swellings and become swollen females. Females rupture root cortex and some time protrude with the egg masses from the root surface. J2 emerge from the egg masses and migrate in the soil (Itoh et al., 1969).

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION: This root-knot nematode is known to be present only in Japan (Nyczepir and Halbrendt, 1993).

HOSTS: Apple rootstocks (Malus prunifolia and M. sieboldi) are the primary hosts of this species. Other hosts include grape (Vitis vinifera), cherry (Prunus yedoensis), Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata), maple (Acer palmatum), mulberry (Morus bombycis), paradise apple (Malus pumila), rose (Rosa hybrida), and white clover (Trifolium repens) (Itoh et al., 1969).

CROP LOSSES: Stunting and severe decline of infected trees are reported in Japan in orchards infested by this nematode (Nyczepir and Halbrendt 1993).

MEANS OF MOVEMENT AND DISPERSAL:  Through root material, soil debris and infected bare root propagative plant material.

RATING: (M) Due to the damage this nematode is known to cause in Japan and the economic importance of host crops, this nematode was given a moderate priority rating.

    Itoh, Y., Y. Ohshima, and M. Ichinohe. 1969. A root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne mali n. sp. on apple-tree from Japan (Tylenchida; Hetreoderidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology 4:194-202.
    Nyczepir, A. P., and J. M. Halbrendt. 1993. Nematode pests of deciduous fruit and nut trees. Pp.381-425 in K. Evans, D. L. Trudgill, and J. M. Webster eds. Plant parasitic nematodes in temperate agriculture. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.