Untying the knots: Dutch researchers look at biocontrol of root knot nematodes by increasing soil disease suppressiveness

Related imageIn organic vegetable cultivation in the Netherlands, root knot nematodes are one of the major problems. According to scientists at Wageningen Plant Research, the problems with root knot nematodes is also increasing in other soil based cultivation systems. The numbers of available and effective chemical control products against soilborne diseases and pests are limited, though. In addition, the combination of different pathogens can be a problem in soil-based cultivation. The presence of root knot nematodes, for example, can increase the sensitivity to Verticillium and Fusarium. The researchers at Wageningen believe that disease suppressive soil might be a viable alternative. Disease suppression in soil is a result of various factors and therefore requires a system approach, they say. In addition, combining different measures can increase soil disease resilience through synergistic effect. A research project is currently underway looking into the possibility of increasing soil suppression against root knot nematode (Meloidogyne sp.), Pythium ultimum and Verticillium dahlia. Read more. Further information from Microbial Ecologist, dr. Marta Streminska.