During my career in Plant Pathology/Nematology, many major advancements have occurred in the study of nematodes—even with their being largely soilborne and thus often overlooked. These biotrophic organisms include the most widespread and important group of plant pathogens—the root-knot nematodes species—which attack most major crops, as well as thousands of non-crop plant species. Landmark achievements that catalyzed research on these organisms included the discovery of effective nematicides, ectoparasitic forms, elucidation of disease complexes, nematodes as virus vectors, development of host resistance, and new technologies for research. Evolving research thrusts involve interfacing traditional and molecular systematics/diagnostics, adoption of the -molecular genetics resource for general nematological research, focus on genetics of parasitism, use of molecular tools in developing host resistance, ecological and quantitative facets, and soil-biology-ecology based integrated management. Educational and international programs are encountering many changes and challenges, as is support for nematology in general.


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