Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Taro Hirschmanniella nematode (010)

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  • Narrow distribution. In Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Taiwan, in dry land and swamps. An important nematode disease.
  • The nematodes attack roots causing wilts, and invades corms from the base, causing brown, crumbling rots. Healthy parts turn red.
  • Spread short distances by swimming or being moved in ground water. Long distance movement in planting pieces ('tops').
  • Cultural control: remove roots from the tops, and inspect corm piece; do not plant down slope from previously infected fields; use hot water (51°C for 10 minutes) to establish source of disease-free plants.
  • Chemical control: none recommended.

Common Name

Mitimiti disease, Mitimiti corm rot

Scientific Name

Hirschmanniella miticausa

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Carmichael A, et al. (2008) TaroPest: an illustrated guide to pests and diseases of taro in the South Pacific. ACIAR Monograph No. 132, 76 pp. (; and from Bridge J, et al. (1983) Hirschmanniella miticausa n. sp. (Nematoda : Pratylenchidae) and its pathogenicity on  taro (Colocasia esculenta). Revue Nematol 6(2): 285-290. ( Photo 3 Hanny van Megen, Wageningen UR. ( Diagram Sailaja K Nematode biology, Physiology and Ecology.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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