The organisms – Importance of nematodes in agriculture
Plant-parasitic nematodes are a major threat to agricultural, horticultural and silvicultural plants. They feed on the plants, damage roots, transmit pathogens or contribute to disease complexes, weaken plant defences, or cause damage by induction of unspecific defence reactions in roots.
Our mission – competence through innovative research on nematodes
The research of the phytonematology group at the JKI is the basis for policy advice. It also aims to provide novel concepts and methods for a sustainable management of plant-parasitic nematodes.
Nematodes and microbiome: Plants maintain their own microbiome in the rhizosphere, which can partially protect from plant-parasitic nematodes. We elucidate the underlying mechanisms, especially attachment of microbes to the nematode surface and microbial induction of plant defence. A directed management of the soil biome shall strengthen the resistance of cultivated plants against plant-parasitic nematodes.
Emerging nematode pests: We analyse the risk of emerging pest species, their damage potential and the efficiency of quarantine measures. For their detection and monitoring, we develop diagnostic tools.
Nematode populations: There can be significant differences among nematodes of the same species. We compare molecularly distinguishable populations with respect to origin, damage potential, host preference, and susceptibility to control measures.
Resistance of crop varieties: We develop and validate systems to test the resistance or tolerance of potato and sugar beet varieties or cover crops against plant-parasitic nematodes. By frequent exposure to resistant varieties, resistance-breaking nematode populations are selected. We characterize such new virulence types of potato cyst nematodes and search for sources of new resistance genes for potato breeding.
Tare soils: More than a million tons of soil derive from industrial processing of potato and sugar beet each year. We test procedures for phytosanitary treatment of these soils, especially with respect to potato cyst nematodes. In this context, we establish methods for testing the viability of cysts.
Artificial intelligence: The aim of a BMBF-funded project is to develop a digital image analysis tool for quantification and phenotypic characterization of plant-parasitic nematodes.
apl. Prof. Dr. Johannes Hallmann, Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics
Nematodes in vegetable production and special crops:
Morphological identification & taxonomy, distribution, damage thresholds, host plants
Dr. Holger Heuer, Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics
Molecular nematology and interactions with microbes:
Molecular identification, intraspecies comparison, epidemiology, microbial antagonists, microbiome, plant defence
Dr. Jan Henrik Schmidt, Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics
Nematodes as bioindicators:
Identification of plant parasitic and free living nematodes, sustainable farming, German nematode collection
Dr. Sebastian Kiewnick, Institute for Plant Protection in Field Crops and Grassland
Nematodes of field crops:
Resistance testing of crop varieties, strategies for regulation and control, genome and transcriptome research
Dr. Matthias Daub, Institute for Plant Protection in Field Crops and Grassland
Heterodera schachtii, Ditylenchus dipsaci:
Integrated pest management, damage prediction models, ecology, remote sensing, digital image analysis
Dr. Stephan König, Institute for National and International Plant Health
New and regulated nematodes:
National program Globodera, phytosanitary measures, globalization, global warming, risk assessment, interlaboratory tests, molecular diagnostics of regulated nematodes
Dr. Björn Hoppehttps://www.julius-kuehn.de/en/ag/staff/p/s/bjoern-hoppe/, Institute for National and International Plant Health
Nematodes of woody plants:
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, population dynamics & pathogenicity, phytosanitary treatments, management, globalization, climate change, national monitoring