Impact of trade on distribution of potato rot nematode (Ditylenchus destructor) and other plant nematodes
Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of LifeSciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, 51014 Tartu, Estonia; e-mail: email@example.com
Scarce status reports give but little substance for convincing conclusions about the gravity of the current problem with the potato rot nematode (Ditylenchus destructor Thorne 1945). This paper reviews the international experience and presents the survey of the most recent plant nematode interception reports by member states of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. Factors influencing the distribution and invasiveness of the species are discussed. The majority of the nematode infestations were identified in consignments of bonsai or aquarium plants, originating predominantly from Asia via Western European countries. Potatoes were the most frequent nematode pathways as detected by Northern, Eastern and Southern Europe. D. destructor has been among the ten best recognised phytonematodes in the international plant trade, even though it was present only in about 3% of the nematode-related interceptions of potato lots. Seed potato has been found contaminated with Potato Cyst Nematodes on several occasions, whereas latent potato rot nematode infestation in ware potato or ornamental plants may easily be overlooked. Special research programs, including the comparative population genetic analyses are necessary to establish the natural and introduced distribution of D. destructor and substantiate creating pest free areas.