Root Lesion Nematode - Southern

Published: 1 Oct 2019

Root lesion nematodes (RLN) are microscopic, worm-like organisms that feed within and damage plant roots, thus reducing crop yield. The key to managing RLNs is to identify  paddocks with yield-limiting numbers present, then incorporate resistant crops and varieties into rotations to reduce their number.

Key Points

  • Root lesion nematodes are species of Pratylenchus that feed on the roots of crops and can cause yield loss
  • The yield loss caused by RLN is related to their number in the soil at planting
  • Losses are more likely to occur when September and October maximum daily temperatures are above average and moisture is limited
  • RLN have a wide host range and can multiply on cereals, oilseeds, pulses and pastures as well as on broadleaf and grass weeds
  • The main RLN species in the southern region are Pratylenchus neglectus and P. thornei
  • When RLN species are present in a paddock, this affects management practices, particularly the selection of rotational crops. This is because crops and varieties can vary in their resistance or susceptibility to each nematode species
  • A PREDICTA® B test conducted prior to sowing can identify the number and species of nematodes present in the soil and thereby inform management practices
  • Crop rotations using resistant crops/varieties are ecommended to reduce RLN population densities and minimise yield losses in subsequent crops.

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Region: South

GRDC Project Code: DAV00128