The motivation for our research is healthy plants for an adequate supply of healthy food in the world. To do this, we study both harmful and useful insects, viruses, bacteria and fungi, and analyse what their effect is on plants in both the positive sense (biological control) and the negative (plant damage). The two main themes in our research are food security and food safety.
We develop, produce and implement diagnostic tests and products that can reveal and monitor plant diseases and prevent them from occurring. Plant breeding companies, inspection services and labs, and companies in the agrichemicals sector use our tests and products.
We develop monitoring instruments and models for decision-supporting systems as well as tools such as biological control for integrated crop protection (IPM: integrated pest management). Our work also includes plant and soil resistance studies with the aim of reducing environmental pollution. We work for national, European and world-wide governments, inspection services and labs, and plant growers and trade associations.
In our Bee research, which the Bees@wur group carries out, we mainly investigate which factors are of importance for bee health. Beekeepers, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the agrichemicals sector all make use of our research results.
Our food safety and phytosanitary research includes applying our diagnostic tests and employing quarantine to prevent infection with human pathogens and mycotoxins. We help to limit risks and to ensure responsible management in the whole food chain. Government organisations (national and European/international), inspection services and labs, and plant growers and trade associations use the results of our food safety research.