Project: Novel and improved tools for monitoring and tackling genetic selection in populations of the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida (PALADAPT)

Management of plant pathogens is probably the most serious challenge in sustainable food production and the maintenance of food security. Due to the strict regulation of or ban on major categories of pesticide, the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida has been managed by a combination of crop rotation and the potato resistance locus Grp1, a relatively narrow range resistance gene that was introgressed into a range of commercial potato cultivars.

However, in 2014 G. pallida populations were described from Emsland (Germany) that can no longer be controlled by Grp1. Since then, several G. pallida populations have been identified from multiple locations in the north-eastern part of The Netherlands that showed aberrant multiplication rates on Grp1 resistant starch potato varieties. Most likely similar highly virulent populations will also emerge in all major potato growing areas in North Western Europe where production practices are very similar. Except for laborious, costly and often moderately accurate pot experiments, there is currently no rapid and reliable method to identify virulent populations. This represents a strong limitation and prevents an accurate and durable management of infestations. The PALADAPT project represents the first step of a European battle plan against the emergence of virulent G. pallida populations and aims at improving the methods and tools for a fast identification of virulence outbreaks. The activities planned in this project also include: i) the creation of networks focusing on monitoring emergence of resistance breaking potato cyst nematode populations; ii) the dissemination of knowledge and recommendations to potato producers potato-breeding companies and European and National Plant Protection Organizations; and iii) the organization of a workshop in late 2018 on rapid and reliable methodologies and tools for monitoring virulence in G. pallida.

Eric Grenier (1), Sebastian Kiewnick (2), Aska Goverse (3), Hans Helder (3), Sven van den Elsen (3), Sylvain Fournet (1), Josselin Montarry(1), Martijn Holterman (3) and Geert Smant(3)

(1) INRA UMR IGEPP - Institute of Genetic, Environment and Plant Protection – Domaine de la Motte, BP35327, 35653 Le Rheu, France;

(2)Julius Kühn Institute, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Plant Protection in Field Crops and Grassland, Messeweg 11/12, 38104 Braunschweig, Germany;

(3)Wageningen University, Laboratory of Nematology, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands.