Studies on the biology of Heterodera goettingiana in Southern Italy


  • N. Greco
  • M. Di Vito
  • F. Lamberti


The pea cyst-nematode Heterodera goettingiana Liebscher causes considerable damage to pea (Pisum sativum L.) (Di Vito and Lamberti, 1976), broad bean (Vicia faha L.) and vetch (Vicia sativa L.) in Southern Italy. Other legumes of lesser agronomic importance, such as Lathyrus cicera L. and Pisum arvense L. may also harbor large numbers of the nematode on their roots (Di Vito et aI., 1980). In England, the nematode completes one or two generations per growing season on pea and winter beans, respectively (Jones, 1950). In Spain females and cysts were found in the roots of vetch after 58-98 days and 117-129 days, respectively (Guevara-Benitez et al., 1970). In Italy, despite the wide distribution of H. goettingiana, information on its biology is scanty. Therefore investigations were undertaken in 1972-1973 to determine the number of generations per year, the influence of sowing time on juvenile invasion of pea roots and on the life cycle of the nematode, and the role of eggs in egg sacs and newly formed cysts in establishing new generations in Southern Italy.