Healthy crops are essential for a safe, healthy, and sustainable agriculture and contribute to sufficient healthy food and to the quality of life. Major agricultural crops, however, are threatened by various plant pests and diseases. Reliable diagnostic assays enable timely detection, identification and/or monitoring of such pests and diseases. With the development of diagnostic assays and products we are contributing to a better inventory and preservation of plant health in arable farming, horticulture, and the cultivation of ornamentals.
Our current activities include work on the following detection platforms:
Simple and rapid screening of plants for the presence of pathogens. LAMP makes use of a portable light-weight module that can easily be taken to the field or the greenhouse, or simply given a permanent position somewhere on the farm.
Simultaneous detection of dozens of plant pathogens by using coloured paramagnetic microspheres. Two formats are available:
- Based on antibodies: suitable for the detection of viruses, bacteria and/or proteins.
- Based on DNA/RNA: suitable for the detection of viruses, viroids, bacteria, fungi and/or nematodes.
NGS maps – within a few days - all genes of microorganisms in plant material with the most advanced DNA sequencers, coupled with rapid data analysis. NGS offers unprecedented possibilities for diagnostics of plant diseases and identification of new or unidentified pathogens.
Real-time PCR where amplification of the DNA or RNA as well as visualisation of the amplification product takes place in one and the same reaction vessel. Three to four different pathogens can be detected simultaneously in a sample.
The ‘workhorse’ of diagnostics. Has been a standard method for the detection of plant-pathogenic viruses and bacteria for years.en bacteriën.
Electron microscopy (EM) can magnify objects many times further than a conventional microscope. This makes EM extremely suitable for the discovery, characterisation and/or description of virus particles.