Pest risk analysis of rice root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne graminicola) for the Italian territory
Meloidogyne graminicola is one of the most harmful organisms associated with rice cultivation throughout the world. Until recently, M. graminicola was present only in Asia, parts of the Americas, Madagascar and South Africa. In 2016, it was detected for the first time in mainland Europe (Northern Italy) and subsequently added to the EPPO Alert List. In this study, the risk posed by this nematode to rice in Italy was assessed using an internationally developed pest risk analysis scheme. In the risk assessment section, information about biology, pathways for entry, the likelihood of establishment, spread and negative impact of M. graminicola are reviewed. Internationally, its spread is more likely through the movement of infested host plants, soil or growing medium and non-host plant parts that may have growing medium attached, from areas where this nematode occurs. Migrant waterbirds, machinery and travellers were also considered as possible pathways for entry. The probability of establishment is very likely due to the suitable environmental conditions and the large range of host plant species present in Italy. This and the nematodes’ ability to survive for long periods in low oxygen environments make the control of M. graminicola very difficult.
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