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Pale Cyst Nematode

Scientific Name

Globodera pallida Stone 1973 (CABI)

Common Name

Pale cyst nematode (PCN), white potato cyst nematode


Formerly known as Heterodera pallida

Native To

South America (Trudgill et al. 2006)

Date of U.S. Introduction

First discovered in Idaho in 2006 (APHIS 2015)

Means of Introduction

Mainly through the movement of contaminated soil (APHIS 2015)


Major pest of potatoes and related crops; uncontrolled infestations can reduce yields by 80% (APHIS 2015)

White potato cyst nematode
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White potato cyst nematode symptoms


Photo by Bonsak Hammeraas; The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research,

Find more images


  • APHIS Posts New Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program Report

    • Feb 16, 2022
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program in Idaho has posted its 2021 fourth quarter report (October 1 – December 31, 2021). The report updates program activities and eradication progress and provides quarterly and aggregate regulatory, survey, and laboratory data.

  • USDA Updates Pale Cyst Nematode Regulations to Allow for Public Review of Future Changes to Domestic Quarantine Protocols

    • Dec 29, 2020
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating domestic regulations for pale cyst nematode (PCN, Globodera pallida). The update will allow for a public comment period for future changes to program protocols for regulating and deregulating PCN-infested and associated areas. PCN is a microscopic soil-pest of potato crops, which causes significant yield losses if left uncontrolled. In North America, the nematode is known to be present in Idaho and on the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

      APHIS regulates infested fields and fields that may have been exposed to PCN-infested soil, and accordingly restricts the interstate movement of potatoes and other regulated articles from these quarantined areas to prevent this pest's spread. With this update, APHIS is amending Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 301.86-3(c)(1) and (d) to state that if APHIS considers making a change to the regulation or deregulation protocols, the agency will publish a notice in the Federal Register to inform the public of the proposed change, and solicit public feedback. After reviewing public comments, APHIS will publish the final notice and inform the public of changes made to the protocols as well as the reasons behind them. Members of the public can view the final rule, supporting documents, and additional information here: This action will go into effect on Jan. 28, 2021, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

  • GLOBAL: Globodera Alliance

    • GLOBAL: Globodera Alliance.

    • GLOBAL is a five-year $3.2 million project funded by USDA. The project title is "Risk assessment and eradication of Globodera spp. in U.S. production of potato", with research focused on the potato cyst nematodes Globodera pallida (pale cyst nematode), G. rostochiensis (golden nematode), and the related species G. ellingtonae that has recently been found in Oregon and Idaho. GLOBAL stands for "Globodera Alliance", a group of 17 research, extension, and education professionals, located in Idaho, Oregon, New York, Canada, Scotland, and France. GLOBAL members include faculty from the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, Cornell University, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, The James Hutton Institute, and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Federally Regulated


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government