Working on Food security? Models and problems

At the Laboratory of Phytopathology, projects revolve around food security. Either directly or indirectly as we work both on various models as well as contemporary plant disease problems in national and international agriculture. Hence, we aim at a fundamental understanding of host – microbe interactions, at multiple integration levels, thus from cell to population. Other projects focus on a more direct management of diseases in various crops, recently with a focus on perennial crops. Taken together, our research contributes to sustainable agriculture, frequently in collaboration with other academic partners and companies.

Groundbreaking phytopathology research in Wageningen

Phytopathology at Wageningen started with Prof. Ritzema Bos. He founded The Royal Netherlands Society of Plant Pathology in 1891, the oldest society for plant doctors in the world and established the Institute of Phytopathology in 1906. That’s why we have the Ritzema Bos Lectures. Since then, many discoveries had their source at the Laboratory of Phytopathology, to name a few: Leaf roll disease in potato is caused by a virus (Prof. Quanjer), Gene-for-gene system in Ustilago-wheat interaction (Prof. Oort), the cloning of the first fungal avirulence gene (Prof. de Wit).

Interdisciplinary research in Plant Sciences

The Laboratory of Phytopathology is part of the Wageningen University and Research (WUR) Department of Plant Sciences, comprising 18 chair groups. Here you are amidst 836 plant science colleagues, which provides enormous opportunities for collaboration. Across WUR, there are plenty of additional options for interdisciplinary research with other science groups. We are part of the interuniversity Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences, which is a collaborative research and teaching institution of WUR, Radboud University Nijmegen, VU Amsterdam, Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University and University of Groningen. Here we train PhD candidates and postdocs to become self-reliant researchers in the field of basic and strategic research. Hence, at WUR you are among top plant scientists, with top facilities and technologies at your fingertips.