Plant-parasitic nematodes associated with olive trees in the Mediterranean basin
Olive tree serve as hosts to a large number of plant parasitic nematodes (PPN), of which root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.), root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.), and spiral nematodes (Helicotylenchus spp.) are pathogenic and widely distributed in olive orchards and olive nurseries in the Mediterranean Basin, California and South America. The effects of parasitism by PPN on plant growth and yield result from disruption of the normal process of plant root growth and function. Nematode damage to olive is particularly evident in nurseries, where optimum irrigation practices favour root proliferation and increased nematode population growth that subsequently impacts adult trees. Estimates of olive losses in the USA due to Meloidogyne spp. ranged from 5 to 10%.