NEW RECORD OF THE AMARYLLIS LESION NEMATODE, PRATYLENCHUS HIPPEASTRI, ASSOCIATED WITH STRAWBERRY IN THE CENTRAL REGION OF COSTA RICA
Pratylenchus species are among the most important groups of plant-parasitic nematodes worldwide due to their wide distribution and host range, and negative impacts on crop yields. In strawberries, they are considered a major problem because of their direct damage to plants and interaction with other plant pathogens. As part of a nematode survey on strawberries in the central region of Costa Rica, one population of Pratylenchus collected from the province of Heredia was characterized morphologically and with three molecular markers. The analysis of morphological and morphometric characters, as well as DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), the 28S large subunit ribosomal DNA, and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COI) genes confirmed the identity of this population as P. hippeastri. This study is the first report of P. hippeastri associated with strawberry in the country and worldwide. Further studies should be focused on pathogenicity essays in different varieties to assess its potential damage on strawberry production and to develop strategies for its integrated management.