Plant-parasitic nematodes are costly burdens of crop production. Ubiquitous in nature, phytoparasitic nematodes are associated with nearly every important agricultural crop and represent a significant constraint on global food security. Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) cyst nematodes (Heterodera and Globodera spp.) and lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) rank at the top of list of the most economically and scientifically important species due to their intricate relationship with the host plants, wide host range, and the level of damage ensued by infection. Limitations on the use of chemical pesticides have brought increasing interest in studies on alternative methods of nematode control. Among these strategies of nonchemical nematode management is the identification and implementation of host resistance. In addition, nematode genes involved in parasitism represent key targets for the development of control through gene silencing methods such as RNA interference. Recently, transcriptome profiling analyses has been used to distinguish nematode resistant and susceptible genotypes and identify the specific molecular components and pathways triggered during the plant immune response to nematode invasion. This summary highlights the importance of plant-parasitic nematodes in agriculture and the molecular events involved in plant-nematode interactions.
Part of the book: Nematology