Sustainable Management of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes: An Overview from Conventional Practices to Modern Techniques

  • Nishanthi Sivasubramaniam
  • Ganeshamoorthy Hariharan
  • Mohamed Cassim Mohamed ZakeelEmail author


Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms that live in many habitats. They cause substantial problems to major crops throughout the world, including vegetables, fruits, and grain crops. These may become a major threat to the agricultural production system worldwide if management fails. This chapter reviews the economic importance and diagnostic methods of plant-parasitic nematodes, including a comprehensive account of existing strategies used for their management ranging from conventional to modern techniques. Some important genera of plant-parasitic nematodes such as Meloidogyne spp., Heterodera spp., and Pratylenchus spp. have been ranked uppermost in the list of the most economically and scientifically significant species of nematodes due to their complicated relationship with the host plants, wide host range, and the level of damage due to infection in crops. Further, obstacles encountered in parasitic nematode diagnosis by classical morphology-based methods have been resolved by the adoption of novel molecular techniques, which are rapid, precise, and cost-effective. As far as the existing cultural management techniques are concerned, crop rotation with non-host crops can suppress a wide range of nematode species effectively, followed by the use of organic soil amendments. Nematicide application is effective when speedy control of nematodes is required; however, the use is reappraised due to environmental concerns. Biological control of nematodes by fungi and bacteria is highly favored due to its environmentally friendly nature. In addition, bio-pesticides are becoming a promising option for the management of plant-parasitic nematodes. Biotechnology-, molecular biology-, and nanotechnology-based approaches have added a new dimension to nematode disease diagnosis and management. Identification of genes that reduce nematode’s ability to reproduce has allowed the breeding of nematode-resistant plants. Marker-assisted selection, genetic engineering, and RNA interference to confer resistance in crop plants, nematode suppression using host plant proteinase inhibitors, and genome-editing technologies have helped tremendously in developing management strategies for plant-parasitic nematodes. In conclusion, a sustainable management of plant-parasitic nematodes is feasible when two or more compatible tactics are applied concurrently while appraising environmental protection.


Biological control Cultural control Integrated management strategies Molecular techniques Conventional practices 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nishanthi Sivasubramaniam
    • 1
  • Ganeshamoorthy Hariharan
    • 1
  • Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zakeel
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of AgricultureEastern University Sri LankaVantharumoolaiSri Lanka
  2. 2.Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureRajarata University of Sri LankaAnuradhapuraSri Lanka

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