Identification of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) from greenhouses in the Middle Black Sea Region of Turkey


Abstract: Root-knot nematodes are among the main important pests causing serious yield losses in greenhouses worldwide, including Turkey. Accurate identification of these pests is essential for determining appropriate control strategies. Identification of Meloidogyne species based on perineal pattern morphology alone is not viable or reliable due to overlaps and high variability among the species. Therefore, our objective was to overcome the difficulties in identifying 90 populations of root-knot nematodes collected from different greenhouses in the Middle Black Sea Region (Samsun, Tokat, Amasya, Çorum, Ordu, and Sinop provinces), using not only morphological (perineal pattern morphology) but also biochemical (esterase phenotype) and molecular (PCR with species-specific primers) techniques. The results indicated that M. arenaria, M. ethiopica, M. javanica, and M. incognita were identified at 42.2%, 41.1%, 12.2%, and 4.4% of the total populations, respectively. Meloidogyne ethiopica was detected for the first time in Turkey on eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) and nightshade (Solanum nigrum L.), and was only found in greenhouses in the coastal provinces (Samsun, Sinop, Ordu) of the Middle Black Sea Region. Our study confirmed that the E3 esterase phenotype is a useful character for distinguishing M. ethiopica from other Meloidogyne species.

Keywords: Greenhouse, identification, Meloidogyne spp., Middle Black Sea Region, Turkey

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