Root-knot nematode

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Root-knot nematode
Root-knot nematode Meloidogyne mayaguensis.jpg
An adult root-knot nematode Meloidogyne mayaguensis
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nematoda
Class: Secernentea
Order: Tylenchida
Family: Meloidogynidae
Genus: Meloidogyne

Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are plant-parasitic nematodes from the genus Meloidogyne. They exist in soil in areas with hot climates or short winters. About 2000 plants are susceptible to infection by root-knot nematodes and they cause approximately 5% of global crop loss[1] Root-knot nematode larvae infect plant roots, causing the development of root-knot galls that drain the plant's photosynthate and nutrients. Infection of young plants may be lethal, while infection of mature plants causes decreased yield.

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

Main symptoms are found on the roots of the plant as a swelling of the roots from within resulting in galls. The size of galls varies depending on species and should not be confused with leguminous root nodules.[2] Root nodules are attached to the root and can be removed easily, root-knot galls cannot.

Above-ground symptoms include; stunting, poor growth, yellowing, chlorosis, wilting, yield reduction and premature death. Heavily infected plants do not respond to watering or fertilisation due to nematode infection of roots.[2]

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Chemical[edit | edit source]

Some of the nematicides that can be used to kill root-knot nematodes and other nematodes in the soil are:[2]

  • Dazomet (Basamid), a granular formulation that can be used for seedbed treatment. When incorporated in moist soil dazomet releases methyl isocyanate gas, which kills nematodes.
  • Fenamiphos (Nemacur), another granular formulation that can be used before or at planting or in established crops.
  • Oxamyl (Vydate) in a liquid formulation, which is supplied with an application gun that makes application into the soil safer.

Prevention[edit | edit source]

Rotivation of the soil between crops will expose nematodes to heat and sunlight killing them.[2]

Crop Rotation[edit | edit source]

Practice crop rotation; avoiding planting any of the following potential hosts sequentially (especially following confirmation of an infection):

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sasser, .J.N. Carter, .C.C. (1985). Overview of the International Meloidogyne Project 1975–1984. In An Advanced Treatise on Meloidogyne. Edited by: Sasser, .J.N. Carter, C.C. Raleigh: North Carolina State University Graphics. p19-24.
  2. a b c d Kirby, M.F. Revised by Gowen, S.R. Ruabete, T.K. Wright, J.G. (2005). Root-knot nematodes. Secretariat of the Pacific Community. ISSN 1017-6276. 3rd Edition.
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