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Main research question/goal

The 'nematode green manures' research project was started on demand from the agricultural sector. The ultimate goal is to find more resistant genotypes in white mustard and fodder radish - both well-known green manures - as the basis for new varieties. We target disease resistance against the nematodes Heterodera schachtii and Meloidogyne chitwoodi. Breeders working on disease resistance must be able to ensure that their (new) crops do not cause any expansion of plant-parasitic diseases and pests in subsequent agricultural production crops. In concrete terms, this project will optimize a bio-assay that is indispensable in the breeding process to select accurately for nematode resistance.

Research approach

Both in the white mustard population and in fodder radishes, known genetic differences in resistance have been observed. Thus, using selection and breeding, improved varieties within the two plant species must be possible. We develop and / or optimize a bio-assay for both green manure crops. It is important that the nematode-resistant plants can be screened non-destructively. Residual populations are then built up through recurrent family selection. During final field trials, we assess the test varieties for their agricultural value.


Green manure crops provide agronomic and ecological added value in agriculture. Improved (selected) disease and pest resistance increases this added value, in terms of natural control of the beet cyst nematode and the maize root-knot nematode. From this project, new varieties of green manure plants are created to be made available to the sector. The new knowledge about the optimization of bio-assays also counts for the breeding world, where it is possible to test a specific disease or pest under controlled circumstances. Plant-specific and parasite-specific growth conditions are described in the bio-assay protocols and may be applicable in related research.

Effective start/end date1/01/1231/12/17

ID: 4150921