EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 06 - 2016 Num. article: 2016/117

First report of damage to potato crops caused by Meloidogyne incognita in Serbia

In 2014, a potato (Solanum tuberosum var. ‘Kuroda’) crop exhibiting 70% galling of tubers was observed in Bački Vinogradi, Vojvodina Province, Serbia. Potatoes had been grown every year for 5 years on this 1-ha site of sandy soil (tomatoes had been grown on this plot before that). In 2014, yield losses of approximately 20 tonnes/ha were observed for the first time at this location. Yield loss was due to the presence of an unknown root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne sp.). Affected tubers showed external galling and internal necrosis just below the skin. Adult females were visible just below the surface as white, pear-shaped bodies surrounded by a yellowish layer of host tissue. However, despite heavy tuber infestation no symptoms of stunting and wilting were observed on the aerial part of potato plants. Diagnosis (morphology, molecular methods) confirmed the presence of Meloidogyne incognita. It is noted that during a survey carried out in the 1980s, M. incognita had been reported in glasshouse crops (cucumbers, carnations, tomatoes) and in field-grown tomatoes and capsicum. Damage caused by M. incognita had been reported on field-grown sunflower and tobacco plants but never on potato. It is supposed that the conditions prevailing in the infested area, such as sandy soils and warmer summers might explain the severity of damage observed on this potato crop. The authors concluded that climate change with increased temperatures might favour the emergence of M. incognita in the Balkan Peninsula and other temperate regions of the world.


Bačić J, Gerič Stare B, Strajnar P, Širca S, Urek G (2016) First report of a highly damaged potato crop from Serbia caused by Meloidogyne incognita. Plant Disease 100(5), p 1021.