Root lesion and burrowing nematodes: diagnosis and management

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Nematodes can feed on root tissues of a wide range of plant species and lead to root damage which can result in significant crop yield loss. Management of species of root lesion nematode (RLN, Pratylenchus spp.) and burrowing nematode (Radopholus spp.) that damage Western Australian crops is summarised here. Further information is available in Bulletin 4698.

Root lesion and burrowing nematodes

Nematodes are common soil pests that feed on the roots of a wide range of crop plants in all agricultural areas of Western Australia, irrespective of soil type and rainfall. Nematodes multiply on susceptible hosts. Consequently, as nematode populations increase, crop production is limited. Damaged roots have less efficient water and nutrient uptake, and plants are also less able to tolerate other stresses such as drought. Cereal yield losses due to nematodes in Western Australia are in the order of 5-15% per annum, but individual losses as high as 40% have been recorded. You can request a copy of Bulletin 4698 'Root lesion and burrowing nematodes' from Ciara Beard.

Symptoms of root lesion nematodes on cereal roots appear as thin roots with brown lesions

Symptoms of root lesion nematodes on cereal roots

Wheat paddock showing patches caused by root lesion nematode

Wheat paddock showing patches caused by root lesion nematode

Contact information

Sarah Collins
+61 (0)8 9368 3612
+61 (0)8 9956 8504
Page last updated: Thursday, 1 September 2016 - 3:41pm