Nematoda is a diverse phylum that is estimated to contain more than a million species. More than 4,100 of these species have the ability to parasitize plants and cause agricultural losses estimated at US $173 billion annually. This has led to considerable research into their biology to minimize crop losses via control methods. At the infancy of plant-parasitic nematode molecular biology, researchers compared nematode genomes, genes, and biological processes to the model nematode species , which is a free-living bacterial feeder This well-annotated and researched model nematode assisted the molecular biology research, e.g., with genome assemblies, of plant-parasitic nematodes. However, as research into these plant parasites progressed, the necessity to rely on the free-living relative as a reference has reduced. This is partly driven by revealing the considerable divergence between the two types of nematodes both genomically and anatomically, forcing comparisons to be redundant as well as the increased quality of molecular plant nematology proposing more suitable model organisms for this clade of nematode. The major irregularity between the two types of nematodes is the unique anatomical structure and effector repertoire that plant nematodes utilize to establish parasitism, which lacks, therefore reducing its value as a heterologous system to investigate parasitic processes. Despite this, remains useful for investigating conserved genes via its utility as an expression system because of the current inability to transform plant-parasitic nematodes. Unfortunately, owing to the expertise that this requires, it is not a common and/or accessible tool. Furthermore, we believe that the application of as an expression system for plant nematodes will be redundant once tools are established for stable reverse-genetics in these plant parasites. This will remove the restraints on molecular plant nematology and allow it to excel on par with the capabilities of research.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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