Root-knot nematodes

Departments - Under the Microscope

These parasitic worms attack plants’ roots, causing all sorts of problems.

September 30, 2019

Nematodes are very tiny, microscopic worms that mostly live in soils, although foliar nematodes live in leaves. While some species harm plant roots, others are beneficial by attacking and killing pests.

Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are tiny creatures that feed on the roots of plants and can cause various types of damage. These microscopic worms cause gall growth or swelling to occur. Once plant roots are affected by nematodes, they become weak and fungi and bacteria cause even further damage.

Source: North Carolina State University Extension, Ohio State University Department of Plant Pathology