California Nematology Workgroup
University of California
California Nematology Workgroup

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What Are Nematodes?

Nematodes are typically tiny aquatic roundworms that thrive in nearly all environments on earth. They are the largest group of multicellular species in the animal kingdom. Some species are parasites of plants and cause economic losses in a wide variety of food, ornamental and industrial crops. Other species, however, are considered beneficial as they help in nutrient recycling. They feed on fungi, bacteria, algae, arthropods, or other nematodes. Also, nematodes are one of the favorite model organisms in studies on molecular genetics. This workgroup primarily focuses on developing and extending information about plant-parasitic and beneficial nematodes.

Sting nematodes feeding on a corn root
Sting nematodes feeding on a corn root
root-knot nematode damage on carrots
root-knot nematode damage on carrots

California Nematology Information

Plant Parasitic Nematode Thresholds/Damage Levels

Crop damage is typically related to the population density of plant-parasitic nematodes at seeding or planting although plant species and cultivar response as well as soil biotic and abiotic factors may modify the crop injury extent. A Nematology Workgroup project compiled crop damage thresholds for some important nematode pests in California.

UC Delivers Nematology Stories

Trap Cropping for Management of Root-knot Nematode by Home Gardeners
Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms that cause problems for home gardeners. Few control measures are available to California homeowners other than keeping the planting area fallow for two years, or planting nematode-resistant tomatoes. The root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne sp., causes the most serious problem and its effects are readily visible to home gardeners by the presence of knots or galls visible on roots.

Read about: Trap Cropping for Management of Root-knot Nematode by Home Gardeners | View Other Stories

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