DNA-technologies in Horticulture

Published on
March 26, 2015

Currently Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture is working hard to establish a novel DNA laboratory. The Dutch horticultural sector supports the development of safe and sustainable methods for crop protection, without the use of chemical pesticides.

DNA-techniques allow the accurate and specific detection of diseases and pests in crops. This is often possible even before the symptoms of the disease are visible. This detection can be done using samples of air, water, plant or substrate. When the level of infection is still low, mostly the disease or pest can still be treated with biological substances.

More resistant crops

Another way of using DNA-techniques is to gain more insight in the natural plant defense reactions.  It is possible to measure the activity of genes involved in plant defense. Based on that, it will be possible to select plant varieties with increased resistance to specific pathogens. This will significantly speed up the breeding process, and allow the generation of more resistant crops.

The new DNA laboratory will allow Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture to contribute to a more sustainable horticulture sector.