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. In addition, nematodes are one of the favorite model organisms in studies on molecular genetics. This workgroup is primarily focused on developing and extending information about plant-parasitic and beneficial nematodes.
California Nematology Information
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.