Influence of the Sting Nematode, Belonolaimus longicaudalus, on Young Citrus Trees


  • David T. Kaplan


The sting nematode, Belonolaimus longicaudatus, was associated with poor growth of citrus in a central Florida nursery. Foliage of trees was sparse and chlorotic. Affected rootstocks included Changsha and Cleopatra mandarin orange; Flying Dragon, Rubidoux, and Jacobsen trifoliate orange; Macrophylla and Milam lemon; Palestine sweet lime; sour orange; and the hybrids - Carrizo, Morton, and Rusk citrange and Swingle citrumelo. Root symptoms included apical swelling, development of swollen terminals containing 3-5 apical meristems and hyperplastic tissue, coarse roots, and a reduction in the number of fibrous roots. Population densities as high as 392 sting nematodes per liter soil were detected, with 80% of the population occurring in the top 30 cm of soil; however, nematodes were detected to 107 cm deep. Although an ectoparasite, the nematode was closely associated with citrus root systems and was transported with bare root nursery stock. Disinfestation was accomplished by hot water treatment (49 C for 5 minutes). Key words: rootstocks, histopathology, population densities, vertical distribution, eradication.