Survival of Meloidogyne javanica during the summer season under semiarid conditions



One of the survival mechanisms of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) in the absence of host plants during hot and dry summer seasons is anhydrobiosis of second-stage juveniles (J2). Another strategy might be migration of J2 to deeper soil to avoid high soil temperatures and low humidity. Wetting infested soil during such seasons is sometimes suggested as a nematode control method that prevents anhydrobiosis, leading to exhaustion of their energy reserves. Population densities of Meloidogyne javanica at five soil depths (0–50 cm) in irrigated and nonirrigated field plots were estimated during three summer months in two successive years after uprooting infected tomato plants. The number of J2 in the soil was estimated by counting J2 extracted by Baermann funnel extraction and number of root galls on lettuce seedlings grown in the soil samples. Significant factors for J2 survival were number of days after plant removal and soil depth, probably due to lower maximum daily soil temperatures and higher water contents at depth. Irrigation did not consistently affect the number of extracted J2 or root galls. No obvious evidence of J2 migration from the upper to deeper soil layers or nematode-control effects of the irrigation were observed.


Meloidogyne javanica Quiescence Soil temperature Survival Soil water potential 



The author thanks N. Tkachi, S. Shuker, S. Elgezer and Y. Saroya for dedicated technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This research did not involve human participants and/or animals.


  1. Bergeson, G. B. (1959). The influence of temperature on the survival of some species of the genus Meloidogyne, in the absence of a host. Nematologica, 4(4), 344–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. den Nijs, L., & van den Berg, W. (2013). The added value of proficiency tests: Choosing the proper method for extracting Meloidogyne second-stage juveniles from soil. Nematology, 15(2), 143–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Evans, A. A. F., & Perry, R. N. (2009). Survival mechanisms. In R. N. Perry, M. Moens, & J. L. Starr (Eds.), Root-knot nematodes (pp. 201–222). Wallingford: CABI Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hussey, R. S., & Barker, K. R. (1973). A comparison of methods of collecting inocula of Meloidogyne spp., including a new technique. Plant Disease Reports, 57(12), 1025–1028.Google Scholar
  5. Johnson, P. W., & Potter, J. W. (1980). Winter survival of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita and M. hapla) under selected crops in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 60(1), 203–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Martin, G. C. (1967). Longevity of Meloidogyne javanica under conditions of bare fallow in Rhodesia. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal, 64, 112–114.Google Scholar
  7. Mojtahedi, H., Ingram, R. E., Santo, G. S., Pinkerton, J. N., Reed, G. L., & Wilson, J. H. (1991). Seasonal migration of Meloidogyne chitwoodi and its role in potato production. Journal of Nematology, 23(2), 162–169.Google Scholar
  8. Norton, W. L. (1978). Ecology of plant-parasitic nematodes. New York: Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  9. Oka, Y., & Mizukubo, T. (2009). Tomato culture filtrate stimulates hatching and activity of Meloidogyne incognita juveniles. Nematology, 11(1), 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Oka, Y., Shuker, S., & Tkachi, N. (2013). Influence of soil environments on nematicidal activity of fluensulfone against Meloidogyne javanica. Pest Management Science, 69(11), 1225–1234.Google Scholar
  11. Perry, R. N., & Moens, M. (2011). Survival of parasitic nematodes outside the host. In R. N. Perry & D. A. Wharton (Eds.), Molecular and physiological basis of nematode survival (pp. 1–27). Wallingford: CABI Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pinkerton, J. N., Mojtahedi, H., Santo, G. S., & O'Bannon, J. H. (1987). Vertical migration of Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. hapla under controlled temperature. Journal of Nematology, 19(2), 152–157.Google Scholar
  13. Reversat, G. (1981). Consumption of food reserves by starved second stage juveniles of Meloidogyne javanica under conditions inducing osmobiosis. Nematologica, 27(2), 207–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sauer, M. R., & Giles, J. E. (1957). Effect of some field management systems on root-knot of tomato. Nematologica, 11(2), 97–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Starr, J. L., & Jeger, M. J. (1985). Dynamics of winter survival of eggs and juveniles of Meloidogyne incognita and M. arenaria. Journal of Nematology, 17(3), 252–256.Google Scholar
  16. Towson, A. J., & Apt, W. J. (1983). Effect of soil water potential on survival of Meloidogyne javanica in fallow soil. Journal of Nematology, 15(1), 110–115.Google Scholar
  17. Wallace, H. R. (1958). Movement of eelworm I. the influence of pore size and moisture content of the soil on the migration of larvae of the beet eelworm, Heterodera schachtii. Annals of Applied Biology, 46(1), 74–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wallace, H. R., & Bird, A. F. (1965). The influence of temperature on Meloidogyne hapla and M. javanica. Nematologica, 11(4), 581–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wang, K.-H., & McSorley, R. J. (2008). Exposure time to lethal temperatures for Meloidogyne incognita suppression and its implication for soil solarization. Journal of Nematology, 40(1), 7–12.Google Scholar
  20. Wesemael, W. M. L., & Moens, M. (2008). Vertical distribution of the plant-parasitic nematode, Meloidogyne chitwoodi, under field crops. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 120(3), 249–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wesemael, W. M. L., Perry, R. N., & Moens, M. (2006). The influence of root diffusate and host age on hatching of the root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax. Nematology, 8(6), 895–902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Windham, G. L., & Barker, K. R. (1988). Winter survival of Meloidogyne incognita in six soil types. Journal of Nematology, 20(1), 113–117.Google Scholar
  23. Womersley, C. Z. (1987). A re-evaluation of strategies employed by nematode anhydrobiotes in relation to their natural environment. In J. Veech & D. W. Dickson (Eds.), Vistas on nematology (pp. 165–173). Hyattsville: Society of Nematologists.Google Scholar
  24. Womersley, C. Z., Wharton, D. A., & Higa, L. M. (1998). Survival biology. In R. N. Perry & D. J. Wright (Eds.), The physiology and biochemistry of free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes (pp. 271–302). Wallingford & New York: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nematology Unit, Gilat Research CenterAgricultural Research OrganizationNegevIsrael

Personalised recommendations