The potato cyst nematodes Globodera rostochiensis and Globodera pallida are remarkable soil-borne endoparasitic pathogens. They cause 50% of yield losses in potato and have been considered as the highest biosecurity and quarantine pests in over 100 countries (Hodda and Cook, 2009).
Thus, their economic importance makes them a prime target in potato breeding for resistance. My second project (minor thesis) at Laboratory of Nematology, Wageningen University, aims to develop a reliable inoculation technique for PCN testing based on detached leaf assay under supervision of Aska Goverse and Casper van Schaick. I worked with susceptible and resistant plant genotypes obtained from the greenhouse and in-vitro grown plants. I tested the plant genotypes with virulent and avirulent pathotypes of PCNs in different inoculation densities, temperatures, and leaf assay methods. Thereafter, nematode development, disease severity, and host-resistance responses for each plant genotypes observed on detached leaves were compared with the nematode-infected roots.
Working on plant-parasitic nematodes Globodera spp is the most challenging academic project I have experienced so far, and I am very grateful for it. While it occupied much of my thoughts over the past few months, my minor thesis project was well worth effort at the end. Not only because it was an exciting topic in host-parasite interactions and plant immunity, but it also helped me to grow as an independent researcher. In Nematology, daily technicians and people in the lab were very kind, friendly, and helpful during the research process. Supervisors and peer-reviewers also gave me valuable feedbacks in the completion of the thesis report. Moreover, I thought of myself as a very fortunate person to have had the opportunity for presentation attended by the Nematology professors and peers. Therefore, I am very thankful for the learning experience and research environment provided by the Laboratory of Nematology, and I highly recommend it as a rewarding experience for doing a thesis in this lab.