The burrowing nematode (Radopholus similis) is one of the major nematode species attacking banana and plantains. Sources of resistance to this nematode were found and studies were made of the resistance mechanisms involved. Relatively greater numbers of preformed phenolic cells were found in roots of the resistant and intermediately resistant cultivars Yangambi km5 and Gros Michel than others. However, in another resistant cultivar, Pisang Jari Buaya, fewer phenolic cells were found, but this clone had high numbers of cells with lignified walls suggesting a different mechanism of resistance. An interesting correlation was found between level of susceptibility to R. similis and root dry matter. A possible role of lignin in resistance to R. similis in Musa is also indicated.