Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection

, Volume 126, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Root-lesion nematodes in cereal fields: importance, distribution, identification, and management strategies

  • Fouad MokriniEmail author
  • Nicole Viaene
  • Lieven Waeyenberge
  • Abdelfattah A. DababatEmail author
  • Maurice Moens


Root-lesion nematodes of the genus Pratylenchus are among the most important nematode pests that limit production of small-grain cereals. Four Pratylenchus species, viz. P. thornei, P. neglectus, P. penetrans, and P. crenatus, are considered of major economic significance in cereals of which P. thornei and P. neglectus are the most important and widely distributed species in cereal crops worldwide. However, P. thornei is more destructive causing estimated yield losses of up to 50% in the USA and 85% in Australia. This paper provides information regarding the global distribution of Pratylenchus species, yield loss due to their attack, their biology and pathogenic relation to plants, the research cutting edges in nematode identification of different Pratylenchus species, and their control through cultural practices and resistant varieties as correct identification of root-lesion nematodes can be difficult to achieve, particularly if a quick diagnosis is needed. In this context, in recent years, several molecular techniques for these Pratylenchus species have been developed such as quantitative PCR assays which are able to produce precise and rapid identification of several root-lesion nematodes species. So far, many global attempts have been made to control root-lesion nematodes in cereals, including cultural practices and development of resistant varieties. The use of resistant accessions is considered the most economically feasible and environmentally sustainable method. Resistance genes in several lines have been identified and are being used in numerous breeding programmes against root-lesion nematodes species.


Nematodes Pratylenchus spp. Cereals Distribution Approaches 



The research was financially supported by Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and a Special Research Fund (BOF) scholarship from Ghent University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), UR - Integrated Crop ProtectionInezgane, AgadirMorocco
  2. 2.Plant, Crop ProtectionFlanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO)MerelbekeBelgium
  3. 3.Faculty of Bio-Science EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Department of BiologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  5. 5.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)Emek, AnkaraTurkey

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