Disease suppressiveness is a phenomenon by which soil micro-organisms suppresses the multiplication and proliferation of pathogens. This phenomenon is well-documented, but relatively rare and poorly understood.
The latter is understandable as soils are mind-boggling biodiverse and complex. Aided by high throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatics we begin to understand its functioning. In the TKI project we exploit state-of-the-art technologies to pinpoint the biological mechanism(s) that underlie native soil suppressiveness with regard to root-knot and cyst nematodes. By ‘learning from nature’ we intend to develop this sporadic phenomenon into a novel handle that could contribute to sustainable pathogen control in agro-ecosystems.