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

Project Details


Main research question/goal
Within Flanders, open-air vegetable production is a very important economic activity, both for fresh consumption and for the frozen vegetable industry. Due to the combination of ideal climate conditions and suitable soils, high productivity can be linked to the production of a high-quality end product. These factors explain the Flemish top position in this sector. Recent years have seen an increase in nematode infestations in the cultivation of field-grown vegetables. Pratylenchus penetrans (root lesion nematode) and Meloidogyne chitwoodi (quarantine root knot nematode) cause economic damage to the most important arable crops and vegetables grown in Flanders. In this project, we aim to develop an IPM-based control of the harmful nematode populations in the cultivation of field-grown vegetables, with judicious use of resistant green manure crops in crop rotation systems.

Research approach
We determine the host sensitivity of P. penetrans and M. chitwoodi and the economically acceptable damage thresholds of the most commonly grown field-grown vegetables. We examine the efficacy in the suppression of nematode populations by the current green manure crops and their mixtures. In field trials, we will follow the development and population dynamics of P. penetrans and M. chitwoodi in field vegetables grown in rotation with green manure crops. We also look at the effect of soil, crop rotation and cultivation aspects on the effectiveness of nematode-suppressing properties of specific green manure crops. At the same time, we try to gain insight into the plant response to nematodes in different green manure crops. The model used is the interaction between oilseed radish and Meloidogyne.

We expect that this research will result in reliable advice to growers and farmers  and that it will become possible for the sector to manage nematode problems in an integrated way using judicious use of green manure crops. The specific knowledge of resistances and resistance sources generated here will first probably be further valorized in breeding and selection programs. The researchers aim to substantially the economic damage caused by nematodes when populations can be kept below the damage threshold.  The results can also contribute to the policy of the government with regard 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