EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 11 - 2017 Num. article: 2017/216

Populations of Meloidogyne ethiopica reported in the EPPO region belong in fact to Meloidogyne luci

Meloidogyne ethiopica (EPPO Alert List) is a tropical root knot nematode which was initially described in Tanzania. Considering that this polyphagous nematode is an emerging pest, it was added to the EPPO Alert List in 2011. In the EPPO region, M. ethiopica was first found in Slovenia on glasshouse tomatoes (EPPO RS 201/004) and then reported from Italy (Maleita et al., 2012), Greece (EPPO RS 2013/006) and Turkey (EPPO RS 2014/007) on several crops (cucumber, kiwifruit, maize, tomato). In 2015, studies had already showed that the population found in Slovenia, originally identified as M. ethiopica, corresponded in fact to another newly described species, Meloidogyne luci (EPPO RS 2016/212). In a more recent study, M. ethiopica populations from Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa were re-examined and compared with a population of M. luci from Iran. Results confirmed that populations from Europe and Turkey correspond to M. luci. In addition, a closer examination of the published esterase profile of the M. ethiopica population from Italy revealed that it also corresponded to the profile of M. luci. Therefore, it is concluded that all populations previously reported as M. ethiopica in Europe and Turkey belong to M. luci. These studies also confirmed the close relationships between M. luci, M. inornata and M. ethiopica. As M. luci has already shown its potential to establish and spread in Europe, the authors considered that M. luci should be added to national and international lists of harmful organisms of phytosanitary concern.


Gerič Stare B, Strajnar P, Susič N, Urek G, Širca S (2017) Reported populations of Meloidogyne ethiopica in Europe identified as Meloidogyne luci. Plant Disease 101(9), 1627-1632.
Maleita CM, Simões MJ, Egas C, Curtis RHC, Abrantes IM de O (2012) Biometrical, biochemical, and molecular diagnosis of Portuguese Meloidogyne hispanica isolates. Plant Disease 96(6), 865-874.