First report of Heterodera zeae in Greece
The corn cyst nematode, Heterodera zeae (EPPO Alert List) was first described in 1970 in India where it is now widespread and considered as a serious pest of maize (Zea mays). This species was then reported in Pakistan (1980), Egypt (1981), USA (1981), Thailand (1995), Nepal (2001), and Portugal (2002).
In Greece, a soil sample from Paleochori Kavallas (Northern Greece) was investigated for the presence of nematodes. It was collected during winter 2009 from a field where maize was annually cultivated in summer and left as fallow in winter. In previous years, maize plants had exhibited symptoms of stunting and wilting. Laboratory analysis (morphological characteristics, molecular tests) confirmed the presence of Heterodera zeae in the collected soil sample. It is noted that further investigations are needed to determine whether nematode presence is associated with economic losses in maize in Greece. This is the first record of H. zeae in Greece and the second for Europe.
The situation of Heterodera zeae in Greece can be described as follows: Present, first found in 2009 in a soil sample from a maize field in Northern Greece.
Skantar AM, Handoo ZA, Zanakis GN, Tzortzakaris EA (2012) Molecular and morphological characterization of the corn cyst nematode, Heterodera zeae, from Greece. Journal of Nematology 44(1), 58-66.