Introduced Pests Outreach Project

Golden Nematode

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Scientific Name: Globodera rostochiensis
Common Name: golden nematode, golden potato cyst nematode, yellow potato cyst nematode

Known Hosts:
Potatoes (Solanum spp.), tomatoes (Lycopersicum esculentum), eggplant (S. melogena), and some solanaceous weeds (e.g. nightshade).

Patches of poor growth with yellowing or wilting of foliage. (Figure 1)
Small tubers (Figure 2).
With a heavy infestation the cysts are visible on the roots with the naked eye. (Figure 3)
Cysts are the hardened body of the female nematode swollen with eggs. They are spherical in shape and attached to the root by a stalk (the head and neck of the female). (Figure 4)
Cysts start out white then turn a golden yellow color and finally turn brown. (Figure 5)

Similar diseases or symptoms:
Mild infestation could be mistaken for water stress or mineral deficiency. Laboratory analysis is needed to determine if nematodes are present.
The pale cyst nematode (Globodera pallida) is very similar to the golden nematode except that it does not pass through the golden yellow phase as the cyst darkens. (Figure 6)

Fact sheets and references:
Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Golden Nematode Web Page

USDA/APHIS Golden Nematode Web Page

EPPO Data Sheets on Quarantine Pests

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries: Government of British Columbia

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Brodie, B.B. 1996. Golden Nematode: A Success Story for Biological Control.

Michigan State University Golden Nematode Factsheet

Rich, A.E. 1983. Potato diseases. Academic Press, New York, New York.

Hooker, W.J., ed. 1981. Potato Cyst nematodes, pp. 94-96 in Compendium of potato Diseases. American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

last reviewed December 30, 2014

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
The Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is maintained by staff at the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.