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BOT 499/599 Nematology


Winter Term 2015 - 3 credits


Dr. Russ Ingham (Cordley 2076, 7-5255)

Class Location Cordley 3089
Lecture Times MWF 11:00-11:50
Lab Time W 13:00-14:50

Nematodes are the most abundant animals on earth. They compose a large and diverse group of organisms that fill many important functions in natural and managed ecosystems. It is estimated that 50% are marine, 25% are free-living in soil or freshwater, 15% are animal parasites and 10% are plant parasites. Annual worldwide crop losses due to nematodes are estimated at $100 billion and US losses at $6 billion. Nematodes can also represent significant barriers to trade if agricultural products have been grown in fields with species considered to be quarantine pests. However, most nematodes in soil are beneficial and contribute to the soil ecosystem processes such as decomposition and nutrient cycling. Structure of nematode communities serve as important indicators of soil health.This course is an introduction to the diversity of nematodes with emphasis on plant-pathogenic nematodes. However topics addressing free-living nematodes important in nutrient cycling, entomophilic nematodes used for control of insect pests, and vertebrate parasites of medical and veterinary importance will also be featured.

Topics covered

Morphology, physiology, behavior

Taxonomy and identification

How nematodes cause plant disease.

Symptoms of nematode diseases

Survey of nematodes which cause plant disease

Chemical, cultural and biological control strategies, plant resistance

Sampling and extraction of nematodes from soil and plant tissues

Nematode community analyses, role of free-living nematodes in N mineralization

Nematode of insects, humans, and domesticated animals



Text - No text book is required. Dropkin, V. H. 1989. Introduction to Plant Nematology. Second Edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York . 304 pp is a good reference book. It is out of print but may be available from on-line booksellers. Copies available to check out from Dianne Simpson in Cordley 2084. More recent books will be introduced. 

Key - Mai, W.F., P.G. Mullen, H.H. Lyon and K Loeffler.  1996.  Plant-Parasitic Nematodes: A Pictorial Key to Genera, 5th Edition.  Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, NY 14850.  277 pp
Purchase not required.
Good reference for identifying plant-pathogenic nematodes
Out of print but may be available from online book sellers.


Links to power points are included


Use 3-ring binder, etc to put them into


Written midterm and final exams

Each student taking the class for graduate credit (BOT 599) will give a 20 minute presentation to the class. The topic will be the student’s choice and can be on any aspect of nematology, provided it is preapproved by the instructor.

General information



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