Root lesion nematodes (RLNs) are one of the most economically important groups of plant nematodes. As migratory endoparasites, their presence in roots is less obvious than infestations of sedentary endoparasites; nevertheless, in many instances, they are the major crop pests. With increasing molecular information on nematode parasitism, available data now reflect the differences and, in particular, similarities in lifestyle between migratory and sedentary endoparasites. Far from being unsophisticated compared with sedentary endoparasites, migratory endoparasites are exquisitely suited to their parasitic lifestyle. What they lack in effectors required for induction of permanent feeding sites, they make up for with their versatile host range and their ability to move and feed from new host roots and survive adverse conditions. In this review, we summarize the current molecular data available for RLNs and highlight differences and similarities in effectors and molecular mechanisms between migratory and sedentary endoparasitic nematodes.


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