The chairgroup Nematology studies the biology of nematodes (roundworms) with the aim to understand and predict their functioning in agricultural and natural ecosystems. This is accomplished by hypothesis-driven research on the molecular and genetic interactions between nematodes and their environment, including both biotic (e.g., bacteria, plants and animals) and abiotic factors (e.g., temperature and drought). Special attention is given to the identification of nematode secretions and their role in suppressing and activating the immune systems of plants and animals. The primary objective herein is to understand the molecular dialogue between host and parasite that allow nematodes to complete their life cycle. An important research theme is to understand how plant parasitic nematodes, such as cyst and root knot nematodes, manipulate their hosts to form highly specialised feeding cell structures without triggering an immune response in the host plant. Similarly, the chairgroup studies how secretory glycoproteins of parasitic worms (helminths) achieve long-term infections by actively modulating the immune system of animals. A second key objective is to study the function of nematodes in terrestrial food webs and unravel their role in multitrophic interactions, including connections with aboveground organisms. Finally, the bacterivorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is used as a model system to test novel concepts to elucidate the genetic and molecular mechanisms that determine development, lifespan, plasticity and adaptation of nematodes species in a diverse range of environments.
History of Nematology
Nematodes are small worms. The name nematode comes from the Greek word ‘nema’ that means ‘thread’. The soil inhabiting species are usually 1 mm long, but marine nematodes can reach lengths of over 5 cm, whereas animal parasites can vary from 10 to 30, 40 centimetre. After Borellus in 1656 had observed "little snakes" in vinegar, he though he found an explanation for the acid taste of vinegar: the little snakes...
Organisation Laboratory of Nematology
The Laboratory of Nematology currently houses three professors:
Together with our Temporary Research Staff of Postdoctoral Fellows and PhD students, and supported by the members of our Technical Staff and a team of two Office Managers, they are responsible for our Research and...
Buildings of the Laboratory of Nematology
Oostenbrink and his staff were first housed in the “Fyto II building” (a part of the brick wing of the old Virology building). In 1964 they moved to a wooden barrack on the Binnenhaven grounds. In the early morning of June 14th 1973 this building of the newly established Department of Nematology was completely destroyed by fire....
Moving to the Radix Building
Radix is a four-story tall building which is located at the site of the former west wing of Plant Research International (PRI), at walking distance from Forum and Orion. The Latin word 'Radix' is used to indicate the root of a plant in the botanical sciences. Radix’ interior has been executed in greens and earth tones, with a hint of botanically inspired pink and purple. The building...
Second International Nematology Congress (SINC)
The Second International Nematology Congress (SINC) organized in Veldhoven, The Netherlands in 1990, on behalf of the European Society of Nematologists (ESN), the Organization of Tropical American Nematologists (OTAN) and the Society of Nematologists (SON), offered ample opportunity for the international community nematologists to discuss the progress in Nematology.
Open Day at the Plant Protection Departments
Laboratory of Nematology completely destroyed by fire
Barrack before, during and after the fire
In the early morning of June 14th 1973 this building of the newly established Department of Nematology was completely destroyed by fire. After...
Visit of Queen Juliana to the Plant Protection Departments at the Binnenhaven