Host-Parasite Relationships of Meloidogyne trifoliophila Isolates from New Zealand


  • C. F. Mercer
  • J. L. Starr
  • K. J. Miller


Root-infecting nematodes are commonly found on white clover in New Zealand pasture where they reduce yield, nitrogen fixation, and persistence. The dominant root-knot nematode on white clover in New Zealand is confirmed in this study as Meloidogyne trifoliophila by isozyme phenotype comparison with the type population from Tennessee. Results from a host differential test differed in the host ranges of M. trifoliophila and M. hapla from New Zealand locations, with M. trifoliophila failing to reproduce on the standard host plants of the test. The size and character of white clover root galls differ between species as M. trifoliophila galls are large, elongate, and smooth compared to the M. hapla galls, which are small, round, inconspicuous, and generally have adventitious, lateral roots. Culture and identification of root-knot nematode populations from sites in the North Island of New Zealand showed that M. trifoliophila is more widespread and abundant than M. hapla. Similar differential resistant and susceptible galling responses among half-sib families of white clover from a breeding program indicated that all M. trifoliophila populations tested were of the same pathotype. This resistant material was not effective in reducing reproduction of M. hapla. Meloidogyne trifoliophila did not develop to maturity on six grasses tested, but galls were formed on some species. Key words: breeding, detection, diagnosis, Meloidogyne hapla, Meloidogyne trifoliophila, nematode, New Zealand, pasture, resistance, root-knot nematode, Trifolium repens, white clover.