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Nematode Detection

Damage caused by Plant-Parasatic Nematodes (PPNs) has been estimated at around £48 billion per year worldwide.

As an industry are we missing the extent of the damage?

  • Over 4000 species of PPN's formally described to date
  • Collectively represent a constraint on delivery of global food security
  • Nematode damage is commonly overlooked in cereals, with damage attributed to other pathogens

Crop damage caused by plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) is often attributed to problems such as poor soil, nutritional deficiencies, drought or disease infection due to their microscopic size.

PPN populations can quickly build to damaging levels, occasionally within a single season, therefore good on-going management of them requires farmers to be proactive and establish farming systems that inhibit the increase of these pests, prior to the planting of susceptible crops. Meloidogyne naasi and M. artiellia are both root-knot nematode species that can infest cereal crops, they cause patchy, stunted growth and galls on roots.

To enable effective control of nematodes, Fera recommends that farmers analyse soil for PPN either pre-planting, post-harvest or when possible infestation symptoms are observed.

Symptoms to look for in the field:

Stunting, wilting, chlorosis, distortion, premature senescence and low yields.

Any PPN's found ideally should be identified to species where possible to allow accurate information to be gathered on the host range and pathogenicity of field populations. Understanding the biology of the species is also important during crop management; for example, time of hatch, preferred habitat, location within the soil profile ability to vector plant viruses or facilitate the entry of disease can all vary greatly with the species of PPN present.

Fera offers a unique free-living nematode analysis service that provides identification to species level for all types of PPN, as part of the UK's largest Plant Clinic. Our experienced team also offers nematode identification and consultancy advice for any sector of agriculture or horticulture.

Contact us:

Tel: +44 (0)300 100 0322

Learn more about Plant Clinic here.