A literature review of the root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne species) that pose a threat to potato production in GB


There are four species of root-knot nematode of potential concern to GB potato growers. Three have been detected in UK soils: 

  • Meloidogyne fallax (false Columbia root-knot nematode) 
  • Meloidogyne hapla (northern root-knot nematode)
  • Meloidogyne minor 

The fourth species, Meloidogyne chitwoodi (Columbia root-knot nematode), has not been detected in the UK, although it is found in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. 

Evidence from the European continent suggests that M. chitwoodi and M. fallax would constitute a significant threat should they become established in GB. The most likely methods of introducing the pests are through infected soil or the movement of infected or contaminated plant material. Crop rotation is one of the most widely used control measures to suppress damage by, and population build-up of, Meloidogyne species. 

Correct identification of the nematodes is important for the effective use of crop rotation as non-host crops may suppress one species but increase another. 

Project code:
01 March 2018 - 31 December 2018
AHDB sector cost:
Total project value:
Project leader:
Harper Adams University


11120024_Meloidogyne Review_2019

About this project

To summarise the current knowledge (in 2019) of the biology and control of the root-knot nematodes that could pose a threat to potato production in GB.