Update on the situation of Meloidogyne graminicola in Italy
In Italy, Meloidogyne graminicola (EPPO Alert List) was first reported in 2016 from Piemonte region (EPPO RS 2016/211) on rice (Oryza sativa) crops and wild plants growing in their vicinity, and in 2018 in rice fields in Lombardia (RS 2018/196).
The NPPO of Italy recently reported to the EPPO Secretariat the outcomes of the official surveys carried out in Piemonte. Inspections were made in rice fields in the demarcated area (including a buffer zone of 20 km2 around the infested fields), as well as in other rice production areas in Piemonte. During both 2018 and 2019, a total of 806 rice fields were surveyed in the demarcated area. At the end of 2019, the infested area covered about 95 hectares (77 rice fields). Phytosanitary measures were applied and included prohibition of seeding rice in the infested fields, and requirements on crop management (i.e. flooding fields, and applying weed control and crop rotation). These measures were effective, as the population density of M. graminicola was strongly decreased. Complete eradication appears to be more complex due to difficulties in weed management and in flooding maintenance during the entire year. Out of 77 infested paddy fields, only 7 (detected in 2016) were symptomatic and yield reduction was only observed in one field (around 30-40% of the crop production).
Concerning the monitoring of rice fields outside the demarcated area conducted in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the rice production area was divided into 5 km x 5 km squares and 4-5 fields were sampled within each square. The total area surveyed covered about 110 000 hectares, in 111 municipalities. 300 soil samples were collected and tested in 2017, 370 in 2018 and 450 in 2019. M. graminicola was not detected in the surveys outside the demarcated area.
The pest status of Meloidogyne graminicola in Italy is officially declared as: Present, in specific parts of the Member State, where host crop(s) are grown, under eradication.
NPPO of Italy (2020-03).
Lotte obbligatorie - Nematode galligeno del riso (Meloidogyne graminicola): http://www.regione.piemonte.it/agri/area_tecnico_scientifica/settore_fitosanitario/vigilanza/nematode.htm