Root-knot nematodes and cyst nematodes are obligate, biotrophic pathogens of numerous plant species. These organisms cause dramatic changes in the morphology and physiology of their hosts. The molecular characterization of induced plant genes has provided insight into the plant processes that are usurped by nematodes as they establish their specialized feeding cells. Recently, several gene products have been identified that are secreted by the nematode during parasitism. The corresponding genes have strong similarity to microbial genes or to genes that are found in nematodes that parasitize animals. New information on host resistance genes and nematode virulence genes provides additional insight into this complex interaction.