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Bentgrass nematode
Anguina agrostis
Synonyms
 
  • none

Plant hosts
 
Bentgrass nematode is known to feed on a variety of hosts such as: Agrostis canina (velvet bentgrass), Agrostis capillaris (brown bentgrass), Agrostis exarata, Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris (bentgrass), Bromus erectus (Upright brome), Dactylis glomerata (orchardgrass), Festuca nigrescens (chewing's fescue), Festuca ovina (sheep fescue), Lolium rigidum (rigid ryegrass), Phleum boehmeri, Phleum phleoides, Phleum pratense (timothy), Poa alpina, Poa annua (annual meadowgrass), Poa pratensis (smooth-stalked meadowgrass), Trisetum flavescens (yellow oatgrass)


Symptoms
 
A. agrostis causes no obvious symptoms during the growing season except that of the flower stalk (inflorescence) which is so distorted that the infected plants were once described as a new species, Agrostis sylvaticus.  Symptoms of infected flowers include a pronounced lengthening of the structures enclosing the seed (glumes and palea).  Seed galls form in place of the seed.  These seed galls are filled with hundreds to thousands of juvenile nematodes.  The seed galls can be distinguished from uninfected seed by the larger size (up to 5 times longer that healthy bentgrass seed) and darker color.
 
Field symptoms of bentgrass nematode
 Image provided by Dave Powell USDA Forest Service.

Transmission
 
Bentgrass nematode can be dispersed by the movement of infected seed.  Each infected seed can contain many hundreds to thousands of juvenile nematodes which will infect the crop the following year.  Seed galls are also easily transported with plant material adhering to contaminated equipment, shoes, pant cuffs, and tools.

Geographic distribution
 
Anguina agrostis is distributed in  Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

Applicable regulations
 
Control Area Order 603-052-1240
 
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