Meloidogyne incognita is a nematode, a type of roundworm, in the family Heteroderidae. It is an important plant parasite classified in parasitology as a root-knot nematode, as it prefers to attack the root of its host plant.
When M. incognita attacks the roots of plants, it sets up a feeding location, where it deforms the normal root cells and establishes giant cells. The roots become gnarled or nodulated, forming galls, hence the term "root-knot" nematode.
It is commonly called the "southern root-knot nematode" or the "cotton root-knot nematode". This parasitic roundworm has worldwide distribution and numerous hosts.
M. incognita has been found to be able to move along shallower temperature gradients (0.001C/cm) than any other known organism, an example of thermotaxis. The response is complicated and thought to allow the nematodes to move toward an appropriate level in soil, while they search for chemical cues that can guide them to specific roots.
- Pline, Diez, and Dusenbery, J. Nematology, 20:605-608 (1988). Extremely sensitive thermotaxis of the nematode Meloidogyne incognita.
- Dusenbery, D.B. Biological Cybernetics, 60:431-437 (1989). A simple animal can use a complex stimulus pattern to find a location,
- Pline and Dusenbery. 1987. Responses of the plant-parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita to carbon dioxide determined by video camera-computer tracking. J. Chem. Ecol. 13 : 873-888.
- Dusenbery. 1987. Theoretical range over which bacteria and nematodes locate plant roots using carbon dioxide. J. Chem. Ecol. 13 : 1617-1624.
- Diez and Dusenbery. 1989. Repellent of root-knot nematodes from exudate of host roots. J. Chem. Ecol. 15:2445-2455.
- Lamberti, Franco and Taylor, Charles Edwin (eds.) (1979) Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne species): systematics, biology and control Academic Press, New York, ISBN 0-12-434850-5 ;
- Diez, J. A., and Dusenbery, D. B. (1989) "Preferred temperature of Meloidogyne incognita" Journal of Nematology 21: pp. 99-104;
- McCarter, James P. et al. (2003) "Analysis and functional classification of transcripts from the nematode Meloidogyne incognita" Genome Biology 4: R26, doi:10.1186/gb-2003-4-4-r26