Root lesion nematode

Root lesion nematode


  • The two important species of root lesion nematode common in Victorian cropping soils are Pratylenchus neglectus and Pratylenchus thornei. They often occur together

  • RLNs have a braod host range that includes cereals and broad leaf crops


  • Crop symptoms include stunted growth and uneven patches

  • The main plant symptoms are lesions/discolouration of the roots, and lack of branching along the main roots 


  • Root lesion nematodes can cause large grain yield losses, particularly in wheat and chickpea crops 

  • At least 20% of cropping paddocks in south eastern Australia have populations of RLNs high enough to reduce yield


Rotations are the best way of controlling RLN. Resistant crops can reduce nematode populations by up to 50 per cent per year. A two year+ break from susceptible crops may be necessary to minimise yield loss if nematode numbers were high. Avoid delayed sowing of intolerant cereal crops.

Links and Resources

DEPI VIC - Root lesion nematode

Overview of species and losses, symptoms, survival, hosts, conditions that cause an outbreak, and control. Published 1996, updated 2013, reviewed 2013.

Victorian winter crop summary 2014 - Root lesion nematode

Table 6: Wheat disease guide. Page 11. Causal organism, symptoms, occurrence, inoculum source, and control. Updated annually.