EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 02 - 2017 Num. article: 2017/042

Heterodera elachista found in Lombardia, Italy

In Italy, Heterodera elachista (EPPO Alert List) was reported for the first time in 2013 in a single maize (Zea mays) field in Emilia-Romagna region (EPPO RS 2014/045). In this infested field, phytosanitary measures were taken to prevent any further spread (including the prohibition to grow maize). Surveys were conducted from 2014 to 2016 and did not detect any cysts of H. elachista in the field concerned. As a consequence, the regional plant protection service will authorize maize cultivation in 2017 but surveys will be conducted to verify that the nematode has been eradicated from Emilia-Romagna.
In December 2016, the NPPO of Italy informed the EPPO Secretariat that another outbreak has been detected in Lombardia region. In March 2016, the pest was detected in samples of soil and wheat plants (Triticum spp.) collected from a farm located in the municipality of Noviglio (province of Milano). On this farm, several cereal crops were presenting chlorosis and growth reduction. The identity of the nematode was confirmed using morphological and molecular methods (PCR, RFLP) in November 2016. The presence of cysts of H. elachista (average of 30 cysts per 100 cc of dried soil) was observed in the tested soil samples, and the surface of the infested area was estimated at 5 ha. The origin of this outbreak is unknown. Phytosanitary measures are being developed to eradicate the pest.
The pest status of Heterodera elachista in Italy is officially declared as: Transient, actionable, under eradication.


NPPO of Italy (2016-12).