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Integrated management of potato cyst nematodes (PCN; Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida) relies heavily on the determination of cyst population densities in soil as well as the viability of the eggs inside the cysts. This study aimed to optimize a quantitative method to determine the number of viable eggs of PCN based on trehalose present in live eggs. Trehalose was extracted from cysts and from a dilution series of eggs and quantified. More trehalose was detected when cysts were crushed than when left intact. Reaction volumes were adapted to the number of eggs because small reaction volumes hampered an accurate extraction of trehalose. A maximum of 10.5 eggs/μl of reaction volume should be used to obtain a significant linear relationship between detected trehalose content and egg numbers. The sensitivity of the trehalose-based method was evaluated by determining the lowest egg detection limit and was defined as five viable eggs. The reliability of this method was tested by comparing efficacy with that of two commonly used assays, visual assessment and hatching test. The trehalose-based method gave viability results similar to those of the visual assessment, which is time consuming, requires trained personnel, and can involve some subjectivity. The hatching test identified fewer viable eggs than the other two methods. In addition, the viability of dead eggs (heated and naturally dead) was tested. No false-positive results (dead eggs declared viable) were obtained with the trehalose-based method. The robustness of the test was demonstrated by measuring the viability of eggs of PCN in different experiments repeated in time. The viability assessment method based on trehalose proved to be an objective as well as sensitive, reliable, robust, fast, and cheap technique for assessing the number of viable eggs in PCN cysts.