Introduction. Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne sp.) cause significant economic damage to Prunus species in China. One of the most economical and environmentally sustainable methods to reduce the impact of root-knot nematodes is the use of resistant rootstock cultivars. Our aim was to examine resistance to M. incognita and its mechanisms. Materials and methods. Four rootstocks were assessed: Tsukuba-4 (P. persica), Tsukuba-5 (P. persica), Nanking cherry (P. tomentosa) and wild peach (P. persica). The susceptible tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cultivar ‘Baiguoqiangfeng’ was used as a positive control. Results. Nematodes did not penetrate roots of Tsukuba-4 and Tsukuba-5, which were considered to be immune varieties. Nanking cherry was highly resistant to M. incognita, whereas wild peach was susceptible. Conclusion. The differences in resistance among the rootstocks were not attributed to differences in effects of root diffusates, but were related to the different structural organizations of the root tips. The epidermal structure of Tsukuba-4 and Tsukuba-5 completely prevented the penetration of second-stage juveniles of M. incognita (J2). In Nanking cherry, penetration of J2 juveniles was reduced, and the development of nematodes from the J2 to female stage was delayed.