First report of Meloidogyne fallax in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, the presence of Meloidogyne fallax (EPPO A2 List) was first recorded in 2011, in England and Northern Ireland, when it was found in sports turf. In 2013, the NPPO of the United Kingdom reported a new outbreak in an organic crop of leeks (Allium ampeloprasum) in one field of 12.5 ha in Staffordshire. This infestation was discovered because of the grower’s concern about the stunted growth of plants in several rows of leeks and in several other patches. Affected plants were around half the size of other plants, were noticeably paler and had very obvious root nodulation. The total area affected was approximately 1 ha. The identity of the nematode was confirmed in August 2013. The source of this infestation is unknown. The leek plants were supplied by a UK propagator in March 2013 and had been grown from seed in peat blocks. One possibility is that the pest could have been introduced into the infested field with plant waste and soil resulting from the on-site processing of leeks produced in other EU member states. The infested field is close to the packhouse and for many years has received processing waste.
The grower does not produce any plants for planting and does not grow ware or seed potatoes. Therefore the past and current risk to other growers is considered to be relatively low. In the samples of leeks examined at Fera, M. fallax has only been found in the roots. The roots are removed before the plants are marketed therefore the risk of spreading the pest on the leeks is considered to be relatively low. In order to reduce the risk of spread of the pest, hygiene measures have been introduced and the symptomatic plants have been destroyed by mechanical cultivation. Further measures, including placing restrictions on the crops that can be grown in the infested field are being developed.
The pest status of Meloidogyne fallax in the United Kingdom is officially declared as: Present, under eradication.
NPPO of the United Kingdom (2013-09).