Root-lesion nematodes of the genus Pratylenchus are among the most important nematode pests that limit production of small-grain cereals. Four Pratylenchus species, viz. P. thornei, P. neglectus, P. penetrans, and P. crenatus, are considered of major economic significance in cereals of which P. thornei and P. neglectus are the most important and widely distributed species in cereal crops worldwide. However, P. thornei is more destructive causing estimated yield losses of up to 50% in the USA and 85% in Australia. This paper provides information regarding the global distribution of Pratylenchus species, yield loss due to their attack, their biology and pathogenic relation to plants, the research cutting edges in nematode identification of different Pratylenchus species, and their control through cultural practices and resistant varieties as correct identification of root-lesion nematodes can be difficult to achieve, particularly if a quick diagnosis is needed. In this context, in recent years, several molecular techniques for these Pratylenchus species have been developed such as quantitative PCR assays which are able to produce precise and rapid identification of several root-lesion nematodes species. So far, many global attempts have been made to control root-lesion nematodes in cereals, including cultural practices and development of resistant varieties. The use of resistant accessions is considered the most economically feasible and environmentally sustainable method. Resistance genes in several lines have been identified and are being used in numerous breeding programmes against root-lesion nematodes species.


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