Control of plant parasitic nematodes with green manure crops in open air vegetables

Project Details


Main research question/goal

To what extent can we control harmful nematode populations in outdoor vegetable cultivation via an IPM-based approach, in particular by using smart rotations and the judicious use of green cover crops? That was the challenging research question in this project. In particular, it concerns two soil nematodes (nematodes), namely the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans and the (quarantine) root knot nematode Meloidogyne chitwoodi.  Both cause economic damage on the main arable crops and vegetables grown in Flanders. 

Research approach

The researchers determined the host plant susceptibility to P. penetrans and M. chitwoodi and the damage thresholds of the most commonly grown outdoor vegetables. Green cover crops were evaluated for their effectiveness in suppressing harmful nematode populations. The development and population dynamics of P. penetrans and M. chitwoodi in open-air vegetables under cultivation rotation with green cover crops were monitored in specific field trials. At the same time, the infection process of P. penetrans and M. chitwoodi was unraveled in order to estimate the potential of the green cover plants as traps.


The project partners successfully developed rotations that allow the sector to control nematode problems in an integrated manner through the judicious use of green cover crops. The economic damage caused by nematodes appears to be substantially reduced if populations can be kept below the damage threshold, with the precondition of reduced use of chemical crop protection products. The results of the research make it possible to give reliable advice to growers who are confronted with plant parasitic nematodes. In a first phase, the knowledge about resistances and sources of resistance may be further valorized in breeding and selection programs in view of the specificity. The results can also contribute to the policy of the government with respect to the quarantine nematode M. chitwoodi

External partner(s)
PCG - Provinciaal Proefcentrum voor de Groenteteelt Oost-Vlaanderen vzw
PSKW - Proefstation voor de groententeelt Sint-Katelijn-Waver
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/21

Data Management Plan flag for FRIS

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