Root lesion and burrowing nematodes

Constraint – Root lesion and borrowing nematodes


  • Nematodes are microscopic, parasitic, worm like creatures


  • Affected plants are stunted and tiller poorly, and may wilt despite moist soil

  • Roots may show browning, thinning, withering and lateral root reduction

  • Burrowing nematodes  have similar effects, but are more likely to produce patches like those caused by rhizoctonia bare patch


  • Losses in cereals can be between 5-15%, but individual losses as high as 40% have been recorded 


Root-lesion nematode cannot be eradicated. Populations can be managed with crop rotations, control of green bridge hosts, ensuring plants have adequate nutrition, and avoidance of root-pruning herbicides. chemical control is not economical.

Links and Resources

DAFWA - Root lesion and burrowing nematodes

Introduction, description, damage/symptoms, similar symptoms, monitoring, and treatment.

GRDC - Root lesion and burrowing nematodes

Information on cereal cyst and root lesion nematodes. Management, symptoms, lifecycle, and frequently asked questions. Published 2009.