Soil-borne plant pathogens have been controlled for decades by non-selective fumigants with a highly negative impact on human health and the environment. In most parts of the world, the use of these generic biocides is either severely restricted or fully banned, hence there is an urgent need for alternative control handles. Root parasitic roundworms (‘nematodes’) are by far the most urgent threat to food production.
Due to peculiarities of their biology, host and non-host resistances constitute a remarkably durable way to manage this category of soil-borne diseases. Host plant resistances are available, but no tools are available to match pathogen populations with the right host plant resistances. This project will deliver affordable, high-throughput DNA-based assays for the identification of pathotypes and races of four major plant-parasitic nematode species, a prerequisite for the right matching between pathogens and available host plants resistances.