Nematoda: India

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Faunal Diversity In India: Nematoda

This is an extract from


Edited by

J. R. B. Alfred

A. K. Das

A. K. Sanyal.

ENVIS Centre,

Zoological Survey of India,



( J. R. B. Alfred was

Director, Zoological Survey of India)


According to N. A. Cobb, a legendary nematologist (1890-1933) from United States of Amercia, "the nematodes, poor beasts, do not furnish hides, horns, tallow or wool; they are not fit for food, nor do they produce anything fit for food; neither do they sing nor amuse us in any way; nor are they ornamental-in fact, when they are displayed in museums the public votes them hideous" The nematodes, members of the phylum Nematoda may be defined as worm-like invertebrates having appendageless and non¬segmented body. Most of them are microscopic in size but may be seen with naked eyes as their length varies from 82 ~m to over 8 m. They generally have a cylindrical body while a few may be fusiform, saccate or kidney shaped. Hence, they are also called roundworms or threadworms. Nematodes are characterised by a body cavity, complete digestive tract, to some extent a well-developed nervous system, excretory system and reproductive system. The digestive tract or the alimentary canal is like a tube placed within a larger tube (the body wall). The body wall is composed of an outer protective layer of cuticle underlying hypodermis and somatic muscles. The hypodermis is thin and expands into the body cavity (coelom) to form the longitudinal chords between the somatic muscles, i.e., two lateral, one dorsal and one ventral chord.

Status Of The Taxon

Global Status

The nematodes are found everywhere on this earth, even in uninhabitable habitats like hot spring, ice and deep ocean trenches. A good percentage of them are the parasites of agricultural and horticultural crops, invertebrates and vertebrates (from insects to elephant). However, a majority of them are free living either in the soil or marine, brackish or freshwater while some are predaceous. According to some estimates, if all the species having such a wide range of habitats and feeding habits are explored, then about half a million nematode species can be recorded on this earth. For the vertebrate parasites alone, N. A. Cobb has calculated ... "if every species of vertebrates is infested with two species of nematodes then 50,000 known species of vertebrates should harbour about 100,000 nematode species" In addition, there are nematode parasites of plants and invertebrates, free-living nematodes in soil and water. According to Poinar (1983), about 0.1-1.0 million marine nematodes may be found per sq. m. Anyhow out of this huge expected number of species, only about 30,000 species are known till date from all over the world. -¬

Indian Status

In India, considerable work has been done on the identification of free¬living nematodes from soil and parasites of higher vertebrates and plants while little is known about the parasites of invertebrates and free-living nematodes found in marine, brackish and freshwater, etc. The approximate number of nematode species from India is given below :¬ Parasites of vertebrates Parasites of plants and free¬and invertebrates living nematodes (soil and water)

This may easily be inferred from the information furnished above (30,000 known species against half a million estimated species) that our knowledge of nematode fauna remains very poor all over the world. In India three thousand known species include most of the important parasitic nematode species associated with vertebrates and agricultural crops. However, the study on the parasites of low significance, parasites of invertebrates, predacious and other soil inhabiting nematodes has not been undertaken seriously by the taxonomists. The identification work of marine and fresh water nematodes has almost been ignored as only about 300 species have been reported till date, though they form the bulk of the total nematode fauna. This has rougWy been estimated that out of 500,000 nematode species over the world; approximately 80,000 nematode species may be existing in India. The exploration targets may be achieved by conducting surveys in the mangrove, desert, islands, estuary, marine, fresh water, high altitude, forest and sewage ecosystems.


As mentioned earlier, the nematodes are found everywhere. However, the animal nematode~ are not only host specific but some also require one or two intermediate hosts before parasitizing the final host in order to complete the life cycle. Under the circumstances, their distribution is correlated with the availability of intermediate host(s), viz., Dracunculus medinensis is restricted in those places where significant populations of Cyclops is present. There are some plant parasitic nematodes which can only be found in particular habitat or host, viz., DitylenclJus angustus in deepwater rice, Globodera rostoclJiensis (potato cyst nematode) on potatoes, Anguina tritici on wheat, RadoplJolus similis mainly on banana, TylenclJulus semipenetrans mainly on citrus, etc. This pattern of distribution is same all over the world.

Regarding the differences between past and present distribution, the history of nematodes in India is too young. Hence, this is not possible to compare the present state of the art with the past. The first vertebrate nematode was recorded in 1855 while the first plant nematode in 1901.

Biological Diversity And Its Special Features

Due to wide range of habitats and feeding habits, the nematodes are highly diversified multicellular invertebrates and they may only be compared with insects. On the basis of food and habitat, they can be divided into five groups, viz., vertebrate parasites, invertebrate parasites, plant parasites, microbotrophic, saprophagous or free-living and predacious. On the basis of morphology, the phylum Nematoda has been divided into two classes and 16 Orders.

Monotypic Genera From India

IndoditylenclJus, Dorsal/a, Diptenc1lus, Baqriel/a, Aporcedorus, Coomansinema, Gopalus, CepIJalodorylaimus, Indodorylaimus, IndokoclJinema, AceplJalodorylaimus, AmpIJibelondira, Porternema, Atlternema, Oostenbrinkiel/a, Dorel/a, Oostenbrinkia, Coronacepitalus, Gobindonema, Paradaxogaster, PraeputirlJabditis, Saprorltabditis, Mesodiplogasteroides, OperculorlJabditis, Acrobelinema, Leipernema, Tetragompitius, RIJadinoplJelenchlls etc.


In fact, it is difficult to provide the full list of endemic nematode species. of India because of the definite gaps in informations on the survey and distribution of nematodes of many groups/ecosystems. Moreover, the list is so exhaustive that majority of species described as new to science from India may be considered endemic today, e.g., more than 400 species in plant and soil nematodes are still known from type localities only. Obviously, this huge number of species will not remain endemic when surveys will be conducted in unexplored areas which come to about 80% of the country. Similar is the case for the nematode parasites of vertebrates and invertebrates in India. However, a list of important nematode species associated with plants, vertebrates and invertebrates and some free-living groups is given below :

Important Phytophagous, predacious and free-living species

Tylenchorhynchus mash/lOodi, Quinisulcius capitatus, Hoplolaimus indicus, Helicotylencltlls dihystera, H. multicinctus, H. abunaamai, H. crenacauda, Scutel/onema brachyurum, Pratylenclllls coffeae, P. penetrans, P. zeae, P. pratensis, •thomei, P. loosi, Radopholus similis, Hirschmanniel/a onJzae, H. gracilis, H. mucronata, Anguina tritiei, Ditylenchus angustus, Rotylenc1l11lus reniformis, Tylenchulus semipenetrans, Heterodera avenae, H. cajani, H. mothi, H. oryziCola, •zeae, Globodera rostochiensis, N.Ieloidogyne arenaria, M. graminico/a, M. hapla, •incognita, M. javanica, Hemicaloosia luei, Caloosia paxi, Criconemoides ornata, •onoensis, Hemicriconemoides cocophillus, H. brachyurlls, Aphelenchus avenae, •besseyi, A. camposticola, Dorylaimus stagnalis, Laimydorus baldus, L. siddiqii, Thomenema matlritianum, Opisthodorylaimus cavalcantii, Sicaguttur sartum, Aporcelaimel/us heynsi, Enchodelus macradorus, Lenonchium oryzae, Oriverutus sundarus, Paralongidorus citri, Xiphinema brevicol/e, X. insigne, Axonchium elegans, Dorylaimellus indicus, Paraoxydints gigas, Tylencholaimus obscurus, Proleptonchus clants, BasiroftJleptus basiri, Dorylaimoides pakistanensis, Paratriellodonls mirzai, porosus, ParahadroncJlIIs shakili, Mylonchulus lzawaiensis, M. mulveyi.

Important Vertebrate and invertebrate nematode species

Strongyloides stercoralis, T. trichuris, T. globulosa, T. ovis, Trichinella spiralis, Dictophyme renale, Alfortia edentatus, Delafondia valgaris, Tridontophorus serratus, Ancylostoma dundenale, A. braziliense, A. caninum, Bunostomum trigonocephalum, B. bovis, B. foliatum, CyatllOstomum labiatum, C. nasatum, Mursl1idia murshidia, Oesophagostomum dentatum, O. asperum, 0. columbianum, O. radiatum, Chabertia ovina, Wauclleraria bancrofti, Dictyocaulus filaria, Thelazia callipaeda, Setaria equina, S. cervi, Parafilaria bovicola, Metastrongulus eiongatus, Memmongamus laryngeus, Cooperia curticii, C. punctata, Haemonchus contonts, Mescistoeirnls digitatus, Nematodirus fillicolis, Oxyuris equi, Enterobius vermicularis, Heterakis spumosa, Subulura andersoni, Ascaris lumbricoides, Toxocara canis, Habronema megastoma, Habronema microstoma, Ascarps strongylina, Simondsia paradoxa, Gongylonema pllichrum, Dracunclllus medinensis, Cllcullalllis alii, Paracamallanus singhi, Paracammallls sweeti, Cammallamls anabantis, Camallanlls fotedari, Procamallanus daccai, Spirocamallanlls gllbernaclIllIs, S. singhi, Spinitectlls minor, Panagrolaimus migophilus, Schwenkiella atlleri, S. indica, S. allrangabadensis, S. basiri, Heterotylenclllls xanthomelas, Iponema hyderabadensis, I. timae, I. mauriti, Mesidionema nordiensis, Protrellatus mllrtii, Mermitllids.

Introduced Species

Only a few species of nematodes might have been introduced in India, viz., Globodera rostoclliensis (serious parasite of potato). Anqllina tritid (wheat gall nematode) is considered to be a native of Europe but this is also found in Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Preadesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.


From economic point of view, the nematode parasites of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants are very important because they cause Significant damage to their hosts, i.e., human being, livestock and crops. Some serious human diseases like river blindness (onchocerciasis), ascariasis, filariasis, trichuriasis and hook-worm diseases are caused by nematodes. As per report of World Health Organisation (WHO) for the year 1977-1978, people in millions were suffering from the above mentioned diseases in Asian, African and Latin American countries. The same report confirmed the death of about 140,000 people over the world. Besides, hundreds of nematode species also act as pathogens and cause deaths in our livestock. The plant parasitic nematodes are more important because they cause an average loss of 15% in all the agricultural crops. In some cases, the loss may go up to 90%, i.e., Globodera rostochiensis (potato cyst nematode) on potato, ufra disease in rice, etc. In 1987, Sasser and Freckman have informed that the crop losses due to nematodes may exceed one hundred billion dollars annually over the world. According to Van Berkum and Sheshadri (1970), the crop losses in India may be up to 10 million dollars to wheat due to Angllina tritid (seed gall nematode), three million dollars to coffee due to Pratylenclllls spp. (root lesion nematode) and in Rajasthan State alone about eight million dollars to wheat and barley due to Heterodera avenae (cereal cyst nematode). All the nematodes are not our enemies. The nematode parasites of insects are considered as good biological agents in the control of agricultural pests.

Some soil nematodes, specially the members of the Order Mononchida, act as a good biological agent in the management of plant parasitic nematodes. Certain nematodes take part in maintaining natural balance in the soil while a few are good experimental animals in the basic research on nutrition, physiology, genetics, etc. A few species belonging to the families Plectidae, MontysteridCle, Desmodoridae and Chromadoridae may be considered as indicator species. These nematodes can be used for determining pollution and other types of aquatic disturbances as they ingest heavy metals and other pollutants settled in the sediments. The species of these families have been found quite sensitive to the pollutants and as a result they may die.


As such we do not have any record about the threats to this taxon either in past or present. The only threat in future carl be anticipated because of the indiscriminate use of nematicides/pesticides, but now we know that even their application cannot eradicate the nematode populations from the soil. The discharge of industrial wastes, etc., in the soil or water may be harmful to them but the damage to the populations remains restricted in the pollution zone only.

Conservation And Future Studies

Since the members of the phylum Nematoda are not being considered as threatened organisms, there is no need to chalk out any policy for the conservation of this taxon. The application of nematicides should be avoided in the management of nematode pests of agricultural crops. Attempts should be made to bring down the nematode populations through other organisms (predatory nematodes, bacteria, viruses and fungi), ~proved management practices, growing antagonistic plants, application of organic and inorganic materials to the soil, crop rotations, summer ploughing, etc.

Selected References

Basir, M. A. 1957. Oxyurid parasites of Arthropoda. A monograph Zo%giea: 220 pp. Baylis, H. A. 1936. Nematoda, I. (Ascaroidea and Strongyloidea). Fallna British India including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor & Francis, London: 408 pp.

Baylis, H. A. 1939. Nematoda, II (Filaroidea, Dioctophymoidea and Trichinelloidea). Fauna British India including Ceylon & Burma. Taylor and Francis, London: 273 pp. Baqri, Q. H. 1991. Contribution to the fauna of Sikkim. Nematodes associated with citrus from Sikkim, India. Rec. zool. Surv. India, Dec. Pap. No. 128 : 103 pp. Chaturvedi Y. and Khera, S. 1979. Studies on the taxonomy, biology and ecology of .nematodes associated with jute corp. Tecll. Mongr., Zool. Surv. India, 2 : 105 pp. Das, V. M. 1960. Studies on the nematode parasites of plants in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh, India). Z. Parasitenk., 19 : 553-605. Jairajpuri M. S. and Ahmad, W. 1992. Dorylaimida Free-living Predaceous and plant-parasitic nematodes. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., 66 Janpath, New Delhi -110 001, India; 458 pp.

Siddiqi, M. R. 1986. Tylencllida parasites ofPlants and Insects. Slough, U. K., Commonw. agric. Bureaux: X + 545 pp. Sitaramaiah, K. 1984. Plant parasitic nematodes of India. Today & Tomorrow's Printers and Publishers, New Delhi; 292 pp. Soota, T. D. 1983. Studies on Nematode Parasites of Indian Vertebrates. I. Fishes. Rec. Zool. SIIrv. India, Dec. Pap. No. 54 : 352 pp.


This is an extract from
Protozoa to Mammalia
State of the Art.
Zoological Survey of India, 1991.
By Professor Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri
Director, Zoological Survey of India
and his team of devoted scientists.
The said book was an enlarged, updated version of
The State of Art Report: Zoology
Edited by Dr. T. N. Ananthakrishnan,
Director, Zoological Survey of India in 1980.

Note: This article is likely to have several spelling mistakes that occurred during scanning. If these errors are reported as messages to the Facebook page, your help will be gratefully acknowledged.


The Phylum Nematoda consists mostly of cylindrical, sometimes fusiform or rarely saccate multicellular organisms which are usually microscopic in size. It is because of their shape, they are popularly called roundworms or threadoworms. Nematodes have appendageless and nonsegmented body I with a body cavity and complete digestive and reproductive tracts.

They are one of the most economically important, diversified and perhaps the largest groups of invertebrates. According to Platt and Warwick (1983), nematodes occur in a wide range of habitats which is unsurpassed by any other metazoan group. In fact, they are found in all kinds of environment and habitats, sometimes even in uninhabitable habitats like hot spring, ice, desert, etc. Cobb (1914), a legendary nematologist has stated, " .... if all the matters in the universe except the nematodes were swept away, our world would still be dimly recognisable .... we would find its mountains, hills, Valleys, rivers, lakes and oceans represented by a film of nematodes"

According to him every species of vertebrate is infested usually with two species of nematodes. Since there are about 50,000 species of vertebrates, they should harbour some 100,000 species of nematodes. If to this the nematodes associated with invertebrates, plants and those living in soil and waters are added, it would perhaps be fair to estimated 500;000 species are free-living i~ soil and water while others are parasites of arthropods, molluscs, vertebrates, or plants. Out of this huge estimated number, only 9,000 species were known till 1950, whereas the present figure is about 20,000 known species. At present, descriptions of about 300 new species are being published every year.

It is difficult to estimate the exact loss due to nematode parasites of man, animals and plants. Ston (1947) estimated about 2,000 million people infected with nematodes over the world. Only one disease, "river blindness" or "onchocerciasis" has been reported in some 20 million people in Africa. More than 50 species have been reported parasitising the human body, of which about a dozen have been found causing serious disease, e.g., ascariasis, filariasis, U'ichniasis, etc. The average loss due to plant nematodes has been estimated up to 15%, which may, at times, be up to go9& , as in instances like the ufra disease in'rice infestation of cyst nematodes or root-knot nematodes, etc., on agricultural crops. Poinar (1983) has reported the losses amounting to four billion dollars due to nematodes in the United States of America alone.

However, some nematodes have also been found very useful as good model experimental animals or the basic research in nubition, physiology, genetics, aging, etc. Sometimes they take part in maintaining natural balance in the soil, and some are used as indicator of aquatic pollution and biological agent for the oonttol of insects and phytophagous nematodes.

The marine, brackish and freshwater nematodes are usually studied independently as free-living DIIIlotodes. In fact, these nematodes have not been paid much attention in India, though they constitute a substantial part or the known nematodes species. Marine nematodes are most dlvenified in sizes and shapes, and the most abundant in Meiofauna. According to poinar (1985), about 0.1-1.0 million individuals may be found per sq.m. They are considered as free-living because they live in water or soil without any parasitic relationship with animals or plants. Since dley feed on micro-organisms, they are also called Microbotrophic nematodes, meaning, utilisation efmicro-organisms for nourishment.

The classification of nematodes is based on morphological characters. Traditionally, the Mmatodes are divided into two classes, viz., Adnophorea (Aphasmida) and Secrenetia (phasmida.) Class Adenophorea comprises two subclasses (Chromadoria and Enoplio) and the following 9 Qders: aa.r H. Baqri. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta Araeolaimida (free-living, aqautic and microbotrophic nematodes), Monhyslerida (free-living, aquatic and microbotrophic), Desmodorida (free-living, aquatic and microbotrophic), Chromadorida (free-living, aquatic and microbotrophic), Desmoscolecida (free-living, aquatic and microbotrophic), Enop/ida (free-living,aquatic terrestrial, predators and microbotrophic), Dory/aimada (free-living, microbotrophic, some plant and vertebrate parasites), Monochioda (free-living,microbotrophic and predators) and Mermithida (parasites of invertebrates).

These Orders consist of 35 superfalnilies and 90 families. The Class Secementia includes the following seven Orders: Rhabditida (terrestrial,microbotrophic, and parasites of plants, insects and vertebrates), Tylenchida (parasites of plants and invertebrates), Aphelenchida (predators, microbotrophic and parasites of plants insects and other invertebrates), Strongylida (parasites of vertebrates), Ascaridida (parasites of invertebrates and occasionally of invertebrates), Oxyurida (parasites of invertebrates and vertebrates), and Spirurida (parasites of vertebrates and invertebrates). These Orders are based on 55 superfamilies and 120 families.

In main groups, i.e., (A) the animal nematodes (parasites of vertebrates and invertebrates) which are generally included under Helminthology, and (B) the plant, soil and other nematodes which are dealt under Nematology. The latter group also includes the predaceious nematodes in soil and freeliving nematodes in fresh water, marine, brackish and hypersaline environments. These groups differ so significantly that the scientists involved in helminthology and nematology have different priorities and use different parameters in the identi'fication because of the diversities. In view of these facts, it is preferred to provide the account of nematodes under two headings.

Historical Resume

Our knowledge of nematode parasites of man and animals dates back to 4700 B.C. in the ancient history of China and to 1553 B.C. in Egypt. Hippocrates in 430 B.C. was the fust to record the pinworm, later !lamed as Eruerobius vermicularis. It will be worthwhile to mention here the names of some earlier workers who have contributed significantly to our knowledge -of nematode parasites: Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), Celsus (53 B.C. -7 A.D.), Columella (100 A.D.), Galen (130-200 A.D.), Vegetius (400 A.D.), Albertus Maqnus (1200-1280 A.D.) and Caesalpinus (1600 A.D.). Leidy, Virchow, Herbst and Leukart also made important contributions in the field during the 16th-18th century. Linnaeus (1758) in his Systema Naturea (10th edition) placed all kinds of worms under the Kingdom Vermes.

In 1878, Sir Patrick Manson reported an interesting finding that the nematodes are responsible for causing human filariasis transmitted by a mosquito. Zeder (1800) was the fust to use the tenn roundworm as a class of parasitic wo~s.

In the nineteenth century, a number of helminthologists in Europe were attracted to work on the basic and applied aspects of nematodes of medical and veterinary importance. A few of them are mentioned here : Baird, Carter, Cobb, Cobbold, Diesing, Dubini, Dubini, Dujardin, Giles, Linstow, Looss, Meyer, Molin, Muller, Parona, Railliet, Schineider, etc.

During the twentieth century, a large number of foreign helminthologists have contributed to the taxonomic as well as applied knowledge of animal-nematodes of Asian, European and American countries e.g., Baylis, Buckley, Chubaud, Chitwood, Cobb, Leipper, Magrolis, Petter, Skirjabin, Yamaguit and others.

i) Pre-1900

In India, a few European helminiliologists had contributed some taxonomic information during the send half of the nineteenth century. Carter (1855, 1858) and Cobbold (1876-1884) in England, von Linstow (1899) in Gennany, Parona (1889) in Italy and Raillet (1899) in France were the fll'St to pay attention to the Indian Nematodes. The staff of the Indian Museum Calcutta, collected or received nematodes and sent those to these european helminthologists for identification. Carter (1859), later an Assistant Surgeon in Bombay, made important observations on Dracunculus, nematodes from the brackish water as well as on those from open drains of Bombay.

ii) 1901-1947

During the early twentieth century, significant contributions have been made on the nematOdes from India by the British officers of medical and veterinary sciences. Boulenger (1920-1924), Chandler (1925-1928), Gaiger (1910-1915), Lane (1913-1921), Linstow (1904-1908), Maplsto~e (1903-1932) and Ware (1924) studied the nematodes ofelephant, pigs and other animals dying at the Zoological garden, Calcutta. Their publications included the descriptions of many new species and new host records. Maplestone (1929, 1930) also worked on the seasonal variation of hook worm. Gaiger (1910, 1915) published a list of nematodes recorded from domestic animals in Punjab. The Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, has made a valuable contribution by collecting animal parasitic nematodes from the Calcutta Zoo and other places.

Dr. Annandale, the fllst Director of Z.S.I., handed over this material to H.A. Baylis of the British Museum (Natural History), London, who, in collaboration with Daubney (1922, 1923) published a number of new species and new host range of these nematodes. Many new species were described by Chandler and Maplestone working at the School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta. The Indian Museum, Calcutta and the European Helminthologists have played a vital role in increasing the' knowledge of nematodes from this subcontinent up to the fust quarter of this century.

Thaper (1924) was~e fIrst Indian to describe a species of Kilulilma while Mahaskar reported Ancylostomiasis for the first time from Madras in the same year. In 1925, Thapar proposed the new genus Echinopharynx and prepared a monograph on the Oxyuroids of Reptiles. In the meanwhile, Karve (1927-1944) reported a number of amphibian and reptilian nematodes. Mirza (1929, 1933), Mirza and Singh (1934) and Mirza and Basir (1937) published good papers on the taxonomy of animal nematodes from Aligarh. Agarwal (1930) and Kulkarni (1935) reported a species of Procamallanus each. Baylis (1936, 1939) authored the two valuable volumes of "Fauna of British India" which provided the accumulated knowledge of nematodes from the whole• subcontinenL

Among the Indian Helminthologists during the pre-independence period, Mirza (1929-1957) at the Aligarh Muslim University, Thapar (1924-1950) at the Lucknow University and Singh (1938¬1965) at the Osmania University, Hyderabad, established good schools of nematode studies. Bhalerao (1932-1948), another pioneer worker in Indian Helminthology, also contributed significantly on the taxonomy of nematodes of the Indian sub-continent initially from Rangoon and later from Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar. A brief but valuable review on the various species of Filaria .)Vas prepared by Basu (1939). In the meantime, a number of taxonomists Anan taram an , Chatterji, Chauhan, Desia, Ghosh, Guha, Iyanger, Lal, Pande, Ray, Saha, Srivastava, Vaidyanatban and others started reporting species from different parts of the country. Some of the Indian helminthologists contributed significantly and also on the applied aspects of nematodes of economic importance, during this period, viz., Acharya (1939) on the control of poultry nematodes, Chopra and Rao (1939) on the treatment of filariasis, Mukherji (1940) on the control measures against hookworm, Rao (1943) on filariasis, Sarwar (1945) on pathological reactions in Setaria, Sen (1945) on Ascariasis, Shastry (1946) on the distribution of elephantiasis. 11lapar (1941) provided a review on the control measures against nematode pests. Moorthy (1941) Investigated the developmental stages of Dracunculus medinensis from southern India.

iii) 1948 -1990

During the post-independence period, Basir, Mirza, Pande, Singh, Srivastava, Mehra, Thapar and a few other continued their valuable contributions in the field of taxonomy, biology, pathogenecity, control, etc., of nematode parasites of vertebrates and invertebrates. Keeping in view the growth in helminthology at different centres in India, the fust volume of the Indian Journal of Helminthology was published in 1948 by the Society of•Indian Helminthoiogists. Thaper and Mirza played the key role as -the founders of the society. S.P. Gupta, Khera, and Sanwal described a number of new species and genera from Lucknow during 1950s. It will be worthwhile to mention here the monograph on the nematode parasites of Arthropoda by Basir (1957). Ali (1956) conducted a survey of nematode parasites of fIShes and birds of Hyderabad while Chakravarty and Majumdar (1959) initiated the work on different aspects of animal nematodes in West Bengal.

Later on, Ali joined the Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, where he encoumged Farooqi and Kalyankar to undertake the work on animal nematode$. They published a series of papers on the nematodes from Marathwada region dwing 1960s. Johnson, a student of Basir, established a good school at the Jodhpur University, during the same period. Ansari (1964) published a comprehensive monograph on the morphology and some applied aspects of Setaria cervi wpereas D.S. Jairajpuri (1963) initiated the research work on the nematodes of birds at Aligarh. Sood (1967-1980) published a series of papers on the nematodes from India. N.K. Gupta and his co-workers (.1973-1980) described a large number of nematode species from the Punjab University, Chandigarh, while Fotedar and Dhar (1970-1980) contributed significantly from Srinagar, Kashmir. In the eastern region, Majumdar at the Burdwan University, Manna at the Calcutta University and Soota, at Z.S.I., Calcutta, made good contributions in different fields of nematode parasites. A few other contributions may also be mentioned here viz., Bhaduri (1948), Chowdhuri (1949), Das and Mukherji (1949), Malhotra (1949), Patel (1948), Premvati (1960), Rai (1958) and others. Bashirullah from Bangladesli and Bilquees, Rashid and Rehana from Pakistan, have also contributed much in the taxonomy of animal nematodes.

Research in ZSI

As mentioned earlier, the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, has always been a centre of taxonomic studies of nematodes since the pre-independence days. In the post-independence period, Chauhan (1947) described a new fllarid wonn Squamofilaria choprai from the lung of sea tern of Maldive Islands. Chaturvedi and Kansal (1977) have published a checklist of Indian nematodes. Soota and Chaturvedi (1971), Soota and Dey Sarkar (1975-1984) reported a large number of species of vertebrate nematodes from the northeastern region of India. Soota (1983) has updated our knowledge of nematode parasites of Indian fishes by compiling the descriptions of about 200 species, and providing the keys for their identification. N. Majumdar (1965, 1985) has also described a few new species of nematode parasites from birds. Alvi (1975) at the High Altitude Zoology Field Station of Z.S.I., Solan, has studied the morphology, biology and control measures of fowl caecal nematode of the family Heterakidae. Approximate number of families, genera and species ofanimal parasitic nematodes in India

It is generally felt that our basic knowledge of the vertebrate nematodes has been satisfactorily assembled and organised. Most of the areas of the country have been surveyed for the nematode parasites of vertebrates.

Outside the Zoological Survey of India, most of the institutions studying nematodes, are engaged in taxonomic work. Some scientists at IVRI and a few universities are involved in the applied work also.

Due to the economic importance of nematode parasites of insects (entomophilic nematodes), an independent branch of nematology called 'entomophilic nematology' has been developed in recent years. The nematodes belonging to mennithid' group have been confirmed to act as a very important biological agent in controlling insect pests. Though Basir from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Rao fr~m the Osmania University and a few others have contributed significantly to the taxonomic knowledge of insect nematodes, our knowledge on this group still remains meagre. Recently, D.S. Jairajpuri and her students have initiated the work at AMU and published about 15 papers on the taxonomy of these nematodes. In fact, not only the entomophilic nematodes but also the nematodes of invertebrates as a whole need more attention in the coming years. Present 'stale ofOUT knowledge ofIndian fauna in relation to that ofthe world fauna :

In comparison to the knowledge of nematode fauna of other parts of the world, our knowledge of vertebrate nematode par:asites from India is satisfactorily build up. However, the nematode parasites of Indian invertebrates are poorly known.

Expertise India


T.D. Soota, -Retired Scientist, Zoological Survey of India, 234/4 Acharya J.C. Bose Road, Calcutta 700 020.

S.R. Dey Sarkar, 'M' Block, New Alipore, Calcutta 700 053.

Y Chaturvedi, Gangetic Plains Regional Station, Zoological Survey of India, Handloom Bhavan, Rajendra Nagar, Patna 800 016.


P.G. Deshmukh, Department of Zoology, Marathwada University, Aurangabad (Maharashtra).

D.N. Fotedar. P.G. Department of Zoology, Jammu &Kashmir University, Srinagar, Kashmir.

Gupta. Department of Zoology, Lucknow University, Lucknow (U.P.).

GuPta, Department of Zoology, Lucknow University, Lucknow (11.P.). Durdana S. Jairajpuri, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (U.P .).

Johnson, Department of Zoology, Marathwada University, Jodhpur (Rajashtban).

Kalyankar, Department of Zoology, Mamthwada University, Aurangabad (Maharashtra).

Majumdar. Department of Zoology, BurdwaD University, Burdwan (West Bengal).

Sahay, Department of Zoology, Ranchi University t Ranchi (Bihar).

A.H. Siddiqi, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (U.P.).

M.L. Sood, Department of Zoology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (Punjab).


Anderson, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Baros, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 60365 BRNO, Kventa' 8, Czech slovakia.

Campana Rouget, Laboratioire de Pamsitologie, Fac. de M'decine, Dijon, France.

Chabaud, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire des Vcrs, 43 Rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris Ceex 05 Franch.

Durette-Dessel, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire des Vers, 43, Rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris Cedex 05 France.

Hartwich, Zoologisches Museum, Museum fur Naturkunde der Humboldt-Uni, DDR.I04 Berlin, Invalidenstr, 43.

Inglis, British Museum (Nat. Hist.), Cromwell Road, London, S.W.7.

Margolis, Depl of Environment, Fisheries and Marine Service, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaim, British Colmbia, Canada~

Poinar, Jr., University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A.

Moravec, Czech slovak Academy of Science, Flemingove Mamesti 2, Praha -6, Czech slovakia.

J.C. Quentin, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire des Vers, 43 Rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.

0.0. Schmidt, Department of Biology, Univ. of Northem Colamdo, Greeley, colorado, U.S.A.

J.F.A. Sprent, University of Queenslans, Sl Lucia, Brishabe, 4067, Australia..

Selected References

Basir, M.A. 1957. Oxyurid parasites of Arthropoda. A monograph. Zoologica, 220 pp.

Baylis, H.A. 1936. Nematoda, I (Ascroidea and Strongyloidea). Fauna Brit. India including Ceylon and Bwma. Taylor &Francis, London: 408 pp.

Baylis, "H.A. 1939. Nematoda, II (Filaroidea, Dioctophymoidea and Trichinelloidea). Fauna Brit. India including Ceylon &Burma. Taylor and Francis: 273 pp.

Chabaud, A.G. 1974. Keys to the nematode pamsite of vertebrates I. Keys to subclasses, orders and superfamilies. Edit. Anderson, chaband and Willmot. Commonwealth Agricultural Berreaux Farnham Royal, Bucks, England: 17 pp.

Chaturvedi, Y &Kansal, K.C. 1977. Check-list of Indian Nematodes (animal parasites). Res. zool. Surv.lndia, Misc. publ., Occ. Paper No.5: 1-148.

Chitwood, B.O. &Chitwood, M.B. (1974). An Introduction to Nematology (rev. ed.). Baltimore University Park Press: 334 pp.

Poinar, G.O., JR. 1975. Entomogenous Nematodes. A Manual of Host List of Insect Nematode Association. Leiden : EJ. Brill : 317 pp.

Poinar, G.O., JR. 1977. CIH Key to the groups and genera of Nematode Parasites of Invertebrates. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux Fornham Royal, Bucks, England: 43 pp.

Platt, H.M. &Warwick, R.M. 1983. Synopsis of the British Fauna No. 28. Free Living Marine Nematodes. Part I : British Enoplids. Piunan Press, Bath, U.K.

Soota, T.D. 1983. Studies on Nematode Parasites of Indian Vertebrates. I. fishes. Rec. Zool. Surv. India, Occ. Paper No. 54 : 1-352.

Yamaguti, S. 1961. Systema Helminthus. Vol. III. The nematodes of vertebrates, pts. 1 &2, Interx. Publishers: 1-2101.

Researc h in India

The work on plant and soil nematodes in Indian started rather late, though a considerable work as been done on different aspects of animal nematodes. The first plant parasitic (root-knot) nematode was reported by Barber (1901) from tea gardens of southern India. Butler (1906), working at Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa (Bihar), encountered another species of root-knot nematode on black pepper in Kerala. In 1913, he also reported ufra disease of rice caused by Tylenchus angustus (= Ditylenchus angustus) in East Bengal, now Bangladesh. thereafter, he (1919) published a detailed paper on urra disease and its control. Cobb (1913) reported a species of Criconema (= Hemicriconemoides) from around the roots of mango tree in Bangalore (Kamataka). Some more stray reference are available prior to 1959 (Krishnan, 1933; Ayyar, 1934; Dastur, 1936; Luthra and Vasudeva, 1939; Thaper, 1941: Thomas, 1948; Khera, 1951; Sanwal, 1951, 1954; Singh, 1952). Goodey (1.951) described two new species, Ditylenchus drepanocerecus and Aphlenchoides spherocephalum, from India.

The Department of Zoology of Aligarh Muslim University became the first centre in• India to initiate research on the taxonomy of plant and soil nematodes. It was under the able and dynamic leadership of (late) Prof. M.A. Basic that M.R. Siddiqi began his research on nematodes in 1955. Professor Basir has already made valuable contributions on animal nematodes, including an authoritative monograph on insect nematodes. Siddiqui published his first paper on nematodes in 1959. His contribution in the taxonomy of nematodes has left a landmark in the history of nematology. In the meantime. Das (1960) from the Osmania University published a valuable paper on the nematodes of Andhra Pradesh. E. Khan and S.H. Khan also joinoo the team of Professor Bair in 1960. In 1961, M. Shamim Jairajpuri was enrolled as a Ph.D. student under the guidance of Dr. Ather H. Siddiqi, a parasitologist of international repute. In 1961, F.G.W.

Jones of Rothmasted Experimental Station, U.K., visited Aligarh and imparted advanced training in nematology to Siddiqi, Jairajpuri, S.H. Khan, E. Khan, and others. These young and dedicated nematologists published about 100 papers on the taxonomy of plant and soil nematodes and described more than 150 new species from 1961 to 1965. Most of these papers were published in journals of international repute.

Drs. M.R. Siddiqi and E. Khan left the Zoology Department in 1964, the fonner joined the Botany Department at A.M.U., Aligarh and the latter IARI, New Delhi. Dr. Siddiqi later (1967) proceeded to U. K. as a nematologist at the Commonwealth Institute of Helminthology (now International Institute of Parasitology). In the meantime Baqri (1966) started work on plant and soil nematodes under the guidance of Prof. Jairajpuri. Drs. Jairajpuri (1961-1990) and Siddiqi (1959 .. 1990) are counted amongst a few foremost nematode taxonomists in the world who have described more than 300 new taxa including several families, superfamilies and orders.

The Nematology in India developed with mpid pace after 1965. The Aligarh centre played a key role in taxonomic research in the country. Jairajpuri (1976) was the rust in India to initiate work on nematode behaviour and biological control of nematodes. His books on the taxonomy of Dorylaimida, biological control of nematode pests, predatory nematodes and other publications on Tylenchida, Dorylaimida and Mononchida have become landmarks in the history of nematology of India. Azmi (1976-1980), I. Ahmad (1980-1990) and Bilgrami (1983-1990) have contributed significantly in collaboration with Jairajpuri on behaviour and biological control of nematode. It is interesting to note that out of about 700 research papers published on nematode taxonomy (Orders Tylenchida, Aphelenchida, Dorylaimida and Mononchida) from India to date over 300, including monographs and books, have been published from the Zoology Department of Aligarh Muslim University.

Of the remaining papers, about 50% have been published by taxonomists trained in this department: E. Khan (1964-1990) at LA.R.I., New Delhi; Baqri (1974-1990) at the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta; Sultan (1978-1990) at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana; Bajaj (1977-1990) at the Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar; Rahman (1985-1990) at the Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat; Dhanachand (1980-1990) at the Manipur University, Imphal; and M.L. Khan (1982-1989) at Dr. Y.S. Parmar University, Solan.

Realizing the importance of nematodes during early 196Os, Dr. Abrar M. Khan, a plant pathologist of international repute, in the Department of Botany of the Aligarh Muslim University, organised research in nematology on basic as well as applied ac;pects. Subsequently, a second centre of nematology was developed in the Botany department of AMU, Aligarh. Saxena, Alam, W. Khan, Haseeb, Farooq, Rashid and a few others worked on applied aspects, while S.I. Husain started work on the taxonomy of nematodes under the able leadership of Abrar M. Khan. Khan and his co-workers (1960-1990) have published a large number of papers in journals of international repute, mainly on control, pathogenecity, disease complexes, and other applied aspects.

Alam (1974-1990) Husain (1965-1989); W. Khan (1973-1989) and Saxena (1964-1989) have made valuable contributions in different fields of nematology. Meanwhile, Edward and Misra (1961-1969) from the Naini Agricultural Institute, Allahabad, also contributed to the taxonomy of criconematids of India. Kannnan (1960, 1961) reported a few species of plant a soil nematodes from the Madras city.

In 1962, the basic work on nematodes was initiated at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute by Prasad, Swarup and Chawla. At the same time, A. R. Seshadri and his co-workers undertook a research project on the potato cyst nematode in the Nilgiri Hills, Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu. The Government of India and the Indian council of Agricultural Research realised the economic importance of phytophagous nematodes and created an independent Division of Nematology at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (I.A.R.I.), New Delhi, in 1966.

Dr. A.R. Seshadri, a great schemer and organiser, was appointed as the fJISt Head of the Division of Nematology in 1967. He organised research work in different fields of nematology, and the Division of Nematology at I.A.R.I. became a centre of international repute within a short span of time. Prasad, S warup, Mathur, Sethi and Dasgupta mainly worked on applied aspects, while Khan, Sanwal and Chawla published valuable papers on the taxonomy of nematodes. The outstanding contributions made by these scientists (1963-1990) have enhanced the prestige of I.A.R.I. over the world. Meanwhile K.K. Nirula (1960-1966) at Central Potato Research Institute, Simla, conducted several surveys for the cyst nematodes and root-knot nematodes and worked on different applied aspects of these nematodes. S.M. Ali started taxonomical studies of plant and soil nematodes at Marathwada University, Aurangabad and Khera organised research at Jodhpur University, in 1964.

During the last 25 years, remarkable progress has been made in nematological research in India. Many young workers have received training by attending the South East Asia Post-graduate Nematology Courses (1967-79) organised jointly by the Aligarh Muslim University; I.A.R.I., New Delhi; and the Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. Recently, in 'December, 1988, an advance training course on nematode pest identification was organised at Aligarh course on nematode pest identification was organised at Aligarh under the leadership of Prof. M.S. Jairajpuri, the then head of the Zoology Department, A.M.U., Aligarh.

About twenty young candidates were selected from allover India who intended to undertake taxonomic research in plant nematology. The Nematological Society of India was founded in 1969 and its official publication, Indian Journal of Nematology, was first published in 1971. This was a great achievement, as the Indian J. N ematol. became the third international journal in the field of nematology. During 1965-1970, D.S. Bhatti at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (later shifted to Hissar); B.N. Mathur and B.S. Yadav at the Rajashthan Agricultural University, Jaipur and Udaipur respectively; Y.S. Rao at Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack; SN. Das at Orissa University of Agriculture &Technology, Bhubaneswar; Setty at the Agril. College, Hebbal, Bangalore; Sitaramiah at the Univ. of Agril. &Tech., Pant Nagar; and N.C. Sokol and M.K. Dasgupta at Visva Bharati (Santiniketan), established good research centres on nematology. Realising the economic importance of nematode pest, the Department of Science &Technology, New Delhi, sponsored All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Nematode Pests of Crops and their control, in 1977, to the Government of India/lndian Council of Agricultural Research Institutes and different agricultural universities.

The same project is now being sponsored by ICAR at 14 centres. This has helped many institutes to develop as a centre of nematology in recent years. At present over 200 nematologists are actively involved in research at more than 25 centres, mainly located at Aligarh (Zoology); Aligarh (Botany); IARI, New Delhi; Hissar; Ludhiana; Solan; Central Potato Research Institute, Simla; Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasargod and Krishnapuram; Udaipur; Kanpur; Jhansi; Bangalore; National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi; Pantnagar; Trivandrum; Anand; Cuttack; Bhubaneswar; Jorhat; Raahori; Sriniketan; Santiniketa; ZSI, Calcutta; Pusa (Bihar); Coimbatore; Barrackpore; Jaipor, Sopore and Jabalpur. Post-graduate teaching has also been initiated at almost all the agricultural universities. Aligarh (Zoology); IARI, New Delhi; ZSI, Calcutta; PAU, Ludhiana; and HAU, Hissar, are being recognised as the centre of taxonomic studies.

The progress of research in nematology has been quite impressive in the field of taxonomy, ecology, behaviour, biology, pa~hogenecily, estimation of crop losses, disease complexes, physiology, control, including soil amendments, etc. A large number of research papers are published every year from India in the Indian Journal of Nematology on different aspects of nematodes, including taxonomy. some of the papers on taxonomy of nematodes from India re also published in international journals like Nematologica, Revue de Nematologie and Nemaloiogia Medite"anea, etc. Nearly 2500 research papers have been published on plant and soil nematodes till date, from India. The break up of the papers published in different fields is given below :

Besides the papers mentioned above, about 100 popular articles/reports in English and other Indian languages have also been published on phytophagous nematodes.

As has been mentioned earlier, the marine, brakish, and freshwater nematodes have been paid littl~ attention in India. The ecosystems mentioned here, are inhabited by the nematodes belonging to Orders Dory laimida, Chromadorida, Araeolaimida, Monhyterida, Desmoscolecida, Enoplida, Trefusiida, Rhabditida, etc. Only a few scientists names may be mentioned who have worked on these nematodes, in India, vis., Ali, Carter, Khera, G.C. Rao, Ganpati, Sinha, Baqri, Choudhury and others. Rao and Ganpati (1968) have reported 108 species from Indian coasts, all as new records. Khera (1968-1974) has significantly contributed on the taxonomy of freshwater nematodes.

Research in ZSI

The work on plant nematodes started rather late. Chauhan and Ramakrishna (1958) were the fll'st to publish a review work on the common plant and soil nematodes from ZSI while Khera, a well known nematologist, was the first to initiate research work on plant nematodes when he joined ZSI in 1969. He encouraged Chaturvedi to undertake a research project on the nematodes associated with the jute crop in West Bengal. Chaturvedi and Khera completed the 'survey work in the jute.growing districts of West Bengal and published a good number of papers on nematodes, including a technical monograph. In the meantime Ramvir Singh, now posted at I.A.R.I., New Delhi, also joined ZSI. He worked on the ecology, biology and taxonomy of nematodes associated with vegetables in and around Calcutta. Khera. (1969-1977), in collaboration with his students, published over a dozen papers on different aspects of nematodes (taxonomy, biology, ecology and pathogenecity), besides his individual valuable contribution in the taxonomy of freshwater nematodes. While studying the meiofauna, Rao and his co-workers (1968-1969) have reported a large number of species of nematodes from Indian coasts, mostly new records.

A separate section of Nemathelminthes was created in ZSI, Calcutta, in 1974, and Dr. Qaiscr H. Baqri was its first Officer-in-Charge. Baqri and Khera started a new series of papers entitle "Nematodes from West Bengal (India)", in 1976, which is still being continued. Baqri and Jana (1980-1985) have published about ten papers on dorylaims from West Bengal.

Dr. Baqri worked as a Principal Investigator of the All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Nematode pests and was assisted by Naseem Ahmad and Das. Baqri 'and his co-workers have completed district-wise intensive and random surveys in West Bengal and Sikkim for the nematodes associated with paddy crop and citrus plantS. Baqri et. ale (1982-1990) have established that the rice root nemalod.~ (flirschmanniella gracilis) and the root knot nematode (Meloidogyne graminicola) are the key pests of paddy crop in West Bengal. Scutellonema brachyurum and Tylenchulus semipenelrans have been found as serious nematode pests of citrus plantation in Darjiling district of Wcst Bcngal and three districts (East, West and South) of Sikkim. Allometric and morphometric variations of all the important pests of paddy and citrus have also been discussed by them. In addition to the survey and taxonomic work, crop losses in paddy due to II. gracilis and the effect of different sources of nitrogen on 11. gracilis population have also bee estimated (Ahmad, Das &Baqri, 1984; Baqri, Basu and Ghosh, 1988, respectively). The work on the ecology of fl. gracilis has also been carried out (Das, Ahmad and Baqri, 1985). Baqri, individually or in The work on the ecology of H. gracilis has also been carried out (Das, Ahmad fUld Baqri, 1985). Baqri, individually or in collaboration, has published more than 80 research papers in national and international journals (including revisionary papers, a monograph on the nematodes associated with citrus from Sikkim, and book on the nematode pests of rice).

These papers report more than 400 species from soil around roots of various agricultural crops, of which about 100 as new to science. Chaturvedi and Khcra (1979) have reported their results on the population dynamics of nematodes associated with jute crop; embryology, life cycle and host parasite relationship of M eloidogyne javanica.

Sinha, Baqri and Choudhury (1985-1990) have reported many species from the estuaries of Sunderban, West Bengal. In the meantime, Dr. A. Chatterjee was appointed as Officer-in-Charge of Nemathelminthes Section, in August, 1985. He has good experience in the field of control, specially in isolation and identifying nematicidal principles from plants, and also in manipulating plant growth regulator and nitrogen fixing bacteria. At present, he is working on the nematodes associated with vegetables and mulbary plants in West Bengal.

Recently, Prof. Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri, one of the foremost nematologists in the world, joined as the Director of Zoological Survey of India, in February, 1989. Presently Prof. Jairajpuri and Baqri are involved in the identification of the nematodes from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a fragile ecosystem. They have also submitted a book for publication on the nematode pests of rice crop, with special reference to Indian nematodes.

The book reports the descriptions and illustrations, biology, symptomology, and control measures of important rice nematodes. In 1991, Prof. Jairajpuri, in collaboration with Dr. W. Ahamad of Aligarh, has published a monumental book in the history of nematology, D(Jrylaimida. The book incorporates the diagnoses of superfamilies, families, subfamilies and genera of the Order Dorylaimida. His• another book, publish(fd in 1990, on the biological control of nematodes, in collaboration with Alam and I. Ahmad of AMU, Aligarh, has received appreciation at international level. No. of Families, Genera and Species known from India 0nIcr Families Genera Species

Areas covered


Hctcrodcridca; Mcloidogynidae; Pratylcnchidae; Hoplolaimidae; Criconematidae; Dorylaims; Mononchs.


Random surveys have already been conducted in most of the states of India. However, attention has been paid only to identify the important nematode pests of agricultural crops.

Areas to be explored


Intensive surveys of economic crops should be conducted in every state for the endoparasitic and semi-endoparasitic nematodes (Heteroderidae, Meloidogynidae, Nacobbidae, etc.). Special attention has also to be paid to identify the virus vector nematodes belonging to the families Longidoridae, Xiphinematidae and Trichodoridae of the Order Dorylaimida. Our knowledge of the Indian nematodes belonging to the Orders Rhbditida, Enoplida, Monhysterida, Chromadorida, etc., is insignificant.


Random surveys are necessary to explore the fauna of plant and soil nematodes in Arunachal Pradesh, Mcghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Pondichery and Goa. The bigger states like Madhya Pradesh and Bihar also need more attention. Attempts should also be made to gather information on the nematode fauna of different ecosystems, e.g., mangrove, desert, island, estuary, marine, fresh water, high altitude, forest and sewage, etc. A co-ordinated approach involving different cenlres is likely to produce more fruitful results.

Indian Fauna in relation to World Fauna

It is estimated that the hitherto known species of plant and soil nematodes from India are about 1/5lh of the total known fauna of the world.

As far as the plant parasitic nematodes are concerned, nearly all the widely distributed and important species associ~ted with agricultural crops in most of the states of India have been identified. On the other hand, the identification of economically less harmful (parasites of low significance), more useful (Predaceous) and other soil inhabiting nematodes is being ignored by most of the taxonomists. This is the main reason that our overall knowledge about plant and soil nematodes still remains poor in India.

Our present knowledge on marine nematodes from India is almost insignificant, though the number of known marine nematode species is about 1/5th of the total known nematode fauna of the world, i.e., 4,000 out of 20,000 hitherto known species. Unfortunately, only about 200 species of marine nematodes are known from India. About 500 nematode specieS are known from freshwater ecosystems over the world, whereas we know about five dozen species from India. The knowledge of nematode fauna from brackish and other hypersaline environments in India is similar to freshwater nematodes.

Expertise India


Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri, Z.S.I., 'M' B",ock, New Alipore, Calcutta 700 053. Qaiser H. Baqri, Z.S.I., 'M' Block, New Alirore, Calcutta 700 053.


Wasim Ahmad, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. H.K. Bajaj, Department of Nematology, Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar. S.N. Das, Department of Nematology, Orissa University of Agriculture &Technology, Bhubaneswar, Orissa.

Ch. Dhanachand, Department ofLife Sciences, Manipur University,. Imphal. Chawla, Division of Nematology, IARI, New Delhi. Khan, Division of Nematology, IARI, New Delhi 110012.

S.H. Khan, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Khan, Department of Nematology, Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni-Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

Sultan, Department of Nematology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. Swamp, Division of Nematology, IARI, New Delhi 110 012.


I. Andrassy, Eotovos Lorand Tudomanyegyetem, Allatrendszertani Intezet, Puskin ulea 3, Budapest VIII, Hungary.

P. Baujard, ORSTOM, Labaratoire de Nematologie, BP 1386 Dakar, Senegal.

E. Van den Berg, Plant Protection Research Institute, Private Bag X 134, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.

M.W. Brezeski, Pracownia Nematologii, Instytut Warzywnictwa, Skierniewice, Poland.

Clark, Zoology Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New ~ealand. Coomans, Lab. voor Morfologie en Systematick, Institute voor Dierkunde, Ledegancksttaat 35, Gent 9000, Belgium.

D~lmasso, Station de Resecherches sur les Nematodes, 123 Bouleward du Cap, Antibes (06), France.

R.PO. Esser, Bureau of Nematology, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriuculture, Gainesvilla, Florida 32 602, U.S.A. Virginia, R. Ferris, Department of Entomology, Purdue UniveFSity, layfayette, Indiana 7907,

Fortuner, Nematology Lab, Room No. 340, California Department of Food &Agriculture, 1220 N. street, Sacramento, Cal. 95814, U.S.A. Gernert, Lab. voor Morfologie en systematick, Institute voor Diericunde, Ledegancksttaat 35, 9000 Gent, Belgium.

A.M. Golden, Nematology Investigations, Plant Industry Station, Beltsville, Maryland 20705,

de Grisse, Lab. voor Dierkunde, Facultiet vazn de Land-bouwwetenschappen, Rajksuniversiteit Gent,. COUpUf(~ Links 235, Gent, Belgium. Heyns, Zoology Deparunent, Randse Afrikaans Universiteit, P.O. Box 524, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa.

Hopper, Plant Quarantine Division, agriCUlture Canada, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Krall. Institute of Zoology and Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Estonian S.S.R., 21 Vanemuise St., Tartu, Estonia S.S.R., U.S.S.R.

Franco Lamberti, Institute di Ncmatologia, Agraria del C.N.R., via G. Amendola 16SIA, 70126 BARI. Italy.

Loof. Landbouwuniver, Vakgroep Nematologie, Binnenhaven 10, Postbus 8123, 6700 ES Wageningen. The Netherlands. Luc, M.N.H.N. Lab. Vers, 61 Rue de Buffon, 75213 PARIS CEDEX as France.

R.H. Mulvey, Nematology Section, Entomology Research Institute, K.W. Neatby Building, Carling Ayenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. D.l. Raski, Department of Nematology, Agricultural Experimental Station, University of California, Davis, California 95616, U.S.A. J.N. Sasser, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Box 7616, Raleigh, N.C. 27695-7616, U.S.A.

M.R. Sauer, CSIRO Division of Horticultural Research, Merbein, Victoria 3505, Australia. J.W. Seinhorst, Institute voor Plantenziektenkundig Onderzoek, Binnenhaven 12, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

M.R. Siddiqi, Commonwealth Institute of Parasitology, 395 A, Hatfield Road, S1. Albans, Herts AL 40XU, England. A.C. Tarjan, Entomology-Nematology Departtnent, University of Florida, lAPS, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.

Yeates, Soil Bureau, Private Bag, Lower Hutt, ~ewZealand. Zullini, Dipartimento di Biologia, Universita state di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Selected References

Andras&y, A. 1976. Evolution as a basis for systematization of nematodes. London: Pitman Publishing Ltd.; 288 pp.

Bastian, H.C. 1895. Monograph •on the Aquillulidae, or free nematodes, marine, land and freshwater with descriptions of 100 new species. Jr. Linn. Soc. London, 25(2): 73¬ 184. Dropkin, V.H. 1980.lnt,-oduction to Plant Nematology. New York. John Wiley &Sons, 293 pp. Fortuner, R. 1984. List and status of• the genera and families of plant parasitic nematodes.

Helminth abstr. Sere B., S3: 87-133. Goodey, T. 1963. Soil and freshwater nematodes. Revised by J.B. Goodey. London, Methuen, 544 pp.

Jairajpuri, M.S. &Ahmad, W. 1991. Doryla'imida. Oxford &IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. Maggenti, A. 1981. General Nematology. Springer -Verlag, New York, Heidelberg, Berlin, 372 pp.

Mai, W.F. &Lyon, H.H."1975. Pictorial key to genera of plant parasitic nematodes (4th ed.). Ithaca: cornell University Press, 220 pp.

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