The root knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) causes damage by its feeding and reproduction on plant roots. There are several pathogenic species of this nematode but the two most commonly found in Kentucky are the southern root knot nematode, M. incognita and the northern root knot, M. hapla. These nematodes can attack numerous plants including vegetables, fruits, field crops, ornamentals and common weeds. Frequently, Meloidogyne interacts with other plant pathogens to form a disease complex in which the resulting disease is much more severe than that caused by either component alone. These nematodes are particularly serious when high populations are allowed to build-up due to continuous replanting on the same site.

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