Five isolates of M. hapla originating from the Netherlands and California were inbred by sequential transfer of single egg masses to produce six strains. Cytological examination showed that oocytes of these strains underwent meiosis and had n = 16 chromosomes. Strains were tested for ability to infect and to develop on several hosts by in vitro assays. The two strains from California infected tomato roots at a higher rate than those from the Netherlands, but no difference among strains was seen for ability to develop on tomato with or without the resistance gene Mi-1. All strains developed on the common bean cultivar Kentucky Wonder, but strains differed in ability to develop on the nematode-resistant cultivar NemaSnap. Strain-specific differences were also seen in ability to infect and to develop on Solanum bulbocastanum clone SB-22. Strain VW13, derived from nematodes treated with the mutagen EMS, was defective in ability to infect tomato and potato roots in vitro. Comparison of DNA using AFLP markers showed an average of 4% of the bands were polymorphic across the six strains, but no correlation was observed between the geographical origin or virulence and DNA polymorphism pattern.