Together with two other food-related initiatives, ClearDetections - a spin off company in formation that offers detection platforms for plant parasitic nematodes - is nominated for the Food Valley Award 2011
Plant pathogenic nematodes – minute soil-born worms – pose huge problems to farmers around the world. Annually, the global damage to agricultural crops caused by nematodes amounts to $80 billion. Fast, affordable and reliable pathogen detection methods are thus required. However, current nematode inspections are based onmicroscopic examinations, which are laborious, expensive and lack the required resolution. The solution lies in a radical switch to new identification technologies that do not depend on (subtle) external characteristics.
ClearDetections - a joint initiative of Wageningen University and BLGG AgroXpertus - provides this solution. By mining the world's largest nematode DNA database developed at the Laboratory of Nematology, unique DNA motives were identified for major plant parasites, allowing the detection and quantification of individual nematode species in highly complex DNA backgrounds. These principles combined with the expertise of BLGG AgroXpertus - the Netherlands' leading agricultural service laboratory - in product development resulted in series a of proprietary DNA-based detection tests. ClearDetections will target the European market for molecular detection methods for all major plant pathogenic nematodes either as detection kits (Q-PCR based) or as dedicated systems. In doing so, ClearDetections offers agricultural (inspection) laboratories a turn-key solution that could completely replace the current routine detection through microscopic examination, enabling large-scale, sensitive and accurate monitoring of soil quality.