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Pest Description
IDENTITY:  Scientific name: Heterodera ciceri
Vovlas, Greco & Di Vito, 1985
Common name: Chickpea cyst nematode
Additional Information: 
FDACS Nematology Circular 198
(PDF file format)

NOTES ON TAXONOMY AND BIOLOGY: Like other cyst forming nematodes, it has sedentary endoparasitic habits. Cysts are persistent tanned sacs derived by the female body and contain the eggs. Cysts persist in soil for many years. Second-stage juveniles (J2) emerge from the cysts, penetrate host roots and establish a specialized feeding site (syncytium) in the stele. They develop into swollen females, which retain the eggs, rupture root cortex and protrude from the root surface. At the end of the reproductive phase, females die and become lemon shaped brown cysts. These cysts are ambifenestrate and provided by bullae and a prominent underbridge.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This nematode is distributed mainly in the eastern Mediterranean region (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey).

HOSTS: This nematode is a parasite of leguminous crops such as chickpea (Cicer arietinum), garden pea (Pisum sativum), grasspea (Lathyrus sativus), and lentil (Lens culinaris), which are the most damaged by this nematode. Other plants rated as poor hosts include the leguminous alfalfa (Medicago sativa), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), broad bean (Vicia faba), crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum), lupine (Lupinus albus), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and vetch (Vicia sativa) and the non-leguminous carnation (Dianthus caryophillus).

CROP LOSSES: Under poor management conditions the crop losses assessed under field conditions on chickpea and lentil range 20-25%. Reduction of protein content of 10-25% has been observed on lentil and chickpea seeds harvested from nematode-infected plants (Greco et al., 1988).

MEANS OF MOVEMENT AND DISPERSAL: This cyst nematode is dispersed with soil debris and plant material contaminated by the cysts.

RATING: (M) The damage caused by this nematode in countries of the Middle East and the chance for the introduction of cysts with soil, seeds or military equipment from these countries indicates that a complete PRA should be completed for this nematode.

    CAB International. 2001. Hetrodera ciceriin Crop protection compendium, global module, 3rd editon. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.
    Greco, N. 1992. The chick pea cyst nematode, Heterodera ciceri. Nematology Circular No.198, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Gainesville, FL, USA.
    Greco, N., M. Divito, M. C. Saxena, and M. V. Reddy. 1988. Effect ofHeterodera ciceri on yield of chickpea and lentil and development of this nematode on chickpea in Syria. Nematologica 34:98-114.
    Sikora, R. A. and N. Greco. 1990. Nematode parasites of food legumes. Pp. 181-235 in M. Luc, R. A. Sikora, and J. Bridge eds. Plant parasitic nematodes in tropical and subtropical agriculture. Wallingford, U.K: CAB International.