Description:A nematode that attacks a wide range of species. The nematode is a tiny, long, thin worm like organism that can only be seen with a lens or microscope. It attacks the above ground portions of the plant including the crown and base of the stem. Stunted plants and poor emergence of crops is often seen.
GrassesOn grasses there is brown streaking on some leaves. Death of older leaves and increased tillering of giving the appearance of a swollen crown. There may be bulb like growths at the base of the plant and deformed shoots arising from ruptured coleoptiles occasionally. Coleoptiles may lie flat on the ground after emergence. Tillers are stunted, distorted and often more numerous. With very high nematode numbers there may be poor emergence and poor survival of seedlings. A brown rotting at the base of the plant appears as the season progresses and by the end of the season crops may lodge.
BulbsBrown rotted rings or stripes can be seen in infected bulbs when they are cut in half. New leaves are twisted and distorted and have raised ridges that may be yellow and are called spikkels and are full of nematodes.
CanolaLeaves of young plants are distorted and compacted giving the crown a swollen appearance. It usually occurs in patches and in severe cases emergence may be reduced. Older plants are relatively tolerant. It looks like hormone herbicide injury especially when it affects large areas.
Species Affected:Bedstraw, Beetroot, Cleavers, Canola, Common Chickweed, Daffodils, Faba Beans, Field Pea, Hyacinths, Jonquils, Lentils, Lucerne, Mouse-eared Chickweed, Oats, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Strawberries, Teasel, Thyme-leaved Sandwort, Tulips, Vetches, Wild Oats and probably other plants as well.
Biology:4-5 generations per year.
Life Cycle:The young nematodes emerge from infected stems in autumn after the rains and swim in the soil moisture to infect the coleoptile of germinating seedlings. This may cause the coleoptile to lie flat on the ground. Once inside the plant it mates and reproduces, completing a life cycle in around 20 days. It survives over summer in a resting state in straw, seed or plant tissue and many can aggregate to form "eelworm wool". In this state it can withstand, drying and high temperatures for many years.
Origin and History:Distribution:
Significance:May cause total crop failure in Oats and Peas.
Management and Control:Cereals
BulbsDestroy badly damaged bulbs.
Related and Similar Species:It looks similar to hormone herbicide injury and some viral infections. (Viral infections often cause pod distortions which helps distinguish them.)
Acknowledgments:Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 for more information.