Northern root lesion

Northern root lesion is one of the many types of root lesion nematodes and causes the most damage on plant roots.

Also known as:
Cobb’s root-lesion nematode
Meadow nematode
Northern root lesion nematode

recognize damage Northern root lesion
Roots affected by the Northern root lesion, photo: Sarah Collins -Government of Western Australia

Northern root lesion (Pratylenchus penetrans). Of the many species of root lesion nematodes, Pratylenchus penetrans causes the most damage: the roots branch strongly and become bushy. Elongated dark spots appear on the roots as cells are drained. Above ground, deficiency symptoms, discoloration and stunted growth occur.
Once affected, crops are more susceptible to attack by bacteria and fungi.

Where to find


Difficult to control, damage to the plants is unfortunately irreversible.


Crop rotation can reduce the amount of nematodes in the soil. Beet and cabbage crops are insensitive to this nematode, and in areas where these crops are grown, the population of root lesion nematodes does not expand.
The presence of plants from the bean family (Fabaceae) increases the amount of root lesion nematodes in the soil.
Africans keep lesion nematodes away.