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Investigating potato cyst nematodes

From Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), this practical activity was developed for Scottish Highers specifications, but the protocol can equally well be used for other specifications. 

Students look at potato cyst nematodes, a serious pest of food crops. This is a good example of parasitism to study as: 
* it affects a common and economically important food crop 
* cysts containing the parasite remain viable for many years 
* cysts can be collected and examined at any time of year 
* controlling the parasite is expensive, complicated and an increasing problem. 

An outline of the life cycle, transmission and control of the potato cyst nematode is covered in the materials, which also contain background information, teacher information, extensive technical guidance and students' instructions.

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