MSc Thesis Topic: Plant parasitic nematodes

It is perfectly possible to find (identify & quantify) needles in a haystack.

Worldwide plant parasites such a cyst, root knot and lesion nematodes have a major impact on crops. Without exception plant parasitic nematodes are a minority within the nematode community, the majority plays essential roles in the soil food web. Environmentally friendly and durable ways to control or manage plant parasitic nematodes are invariably knowledge intensive; we need to know exactly what plant parasites are present and it is highly desirable to know this early. Recently, we have collected DNA sequences from virtually all major plant parasitic nematode species, and are currently developing early identification & warning systems.      

Plant parasites  - head region potato cyst nematode (Globodera rostochiensis)/Picture: Hanny van Megen
Plant parasites - head region potato cyst nematode (Globodera rostochiensis)/Picture: Hanny van Megen

Research: 

  • Development of a detection system for all economically relevant lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus sp. – relevant DNA sequences are already available) 
  • Development of a detection system for all economically relevant stubby root nematodes (Trichodorus sp. – relevant DNA sequences are already available)

 
These DNA barcoding-based tools will be developed in the framework of a cooperation between Nematology and a company. It is very likely that your results will have (practical) impact.