Worldwide plant parasitic nematodes causes tremendous yield losses on most cultivated crops. Developmental projects collapsed due to this hidden enemy. In South Africa, the root-knot nematodes especially
M. javanica are declared economic pests of most crops with more than 4000 host plants. Economic pests are those that have to be managed if economic yield is to be realised. The challenge seemed to be exacerbated by the withdrawal of effective synthetic nematicides that were harmful to both human health and the environment. As a result of the damage to the ozone layer by synthetic nematicides/pesticides, there had been a "scary", change in the environmental patterns. The change unfortunately brings along other nematode pests previously known to be adapted to cooler climates, (Mediterranean species), however now found in South Africa's warmer climatic areas. Based on the latter, the ARC-Vegetable and Ornamental Plants nematology group embarked on a journey to start with the basics, to determine the host-status and host-sensitivity of potatoes, beetroot, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and medicinal plants, however, not limited. Furthermore, to develop sustainable integrated nematode management systems that is a set of cultural practices developed as alternative to synthetic nematicides.
Damage caused by nematodes on a potato field, take note of the patch.
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