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Plant Health: weed, pest & disease management

Other Nematodes

26 June 2018

Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic in size, with the most abundant species typically being 1-1.5mm long. In general, they can be classified into different types according to whether they remain in the soil or spend part of their lifecycle in close association with the plant host. Those remaining in the soil are referred to as Free Living Nematodes (FLN). More information on the species of importance to potatoes is provided in the publication

and in related project information

Root Knot Nematodes (RKN) are examples of nematodes that form a close association with their host. Unlike PCN the females don’t form cysts, instead eggs are laid into an egg sac and both the female and the egg sac tend to be buried in galls induced by nematode feeding. When infected plants are lifted the galls may be visible on the roots

Although numerous RKN (Meloidogyne species) are known to infect potato crops across the globe, less is known about their occurrence and potential impact in the UK. Meloidogyne fallax (False Columbia RKN), M. hapla (Northern RKN) and M. minor are pathogenic to potatoes and have been detected in GB soils. Meloidogyne chitwoodi (Columbia RKN), has not been detected in the UK, but is found in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Root Knot Nematodes are considered economically significant due to the stunted growth and yield loss to host plants resulting from infection. Species belonging to the M. chitwoodi-lineage can also cause defects to tubers such as external galling and internal necrotic spotting. Effective management of each species of Meloidogyne requires a clear understanding of the host range, lifecycle and preferred edaphic conditions.

Information on the symptoms caused by Root-Knot Nematodes area available at