Nematodes are microscopic in nature and are found in soil. They are fungal feeders, plant parasites, predators and omnivores. Plant parasites cause damage to cultivated plants by damaging plant roots and killing crop plants.
Several genera and species of nematodes are highly damaging to a great range of hosts, including foliage plants, agronomic and vegetable crops, fruit and nut trees, turfgrass, and forest trees. Some of the most damaging nematodes are:
- Root knot (Meloidogyne spp.)
- Cyst (Heterodera and Globodera spp.)
- Root lesion (Pratylenchus spp.); etc.
We identify nematodes using the Baermann Funnel Method based on morphological features:
- shape of head
- number of annules
- body length
- length of stylet
- shape of stylet knob
- structure of lateral fields
- presence/absence and shape of spermatheca
- shape of female tail terminus
- shape and length of spicule and gubernaculum.
We also identify the species using molecular tools (DNA based methods)