The identifcation and characterization of virulence genes in resistance-breaking populations of the potato cyst nematodes Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis

Project: PhD

Project Details


Potato cultivation is constantly threatened by a range of microbial and animal pathogens. Among them, is the group of potato cyst nematodes (PCNs). These soil inhabiting roundworms cause symptoms like stunting, leaf yellowing and a reduction in tuber size. The losses caused by the two major PCN species, Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida, are estimated at 9% of the worldwide potato production. The use of naturally resistant cultivars was an highly effective way of controlling PCN in Western Europe, until in 2014, when an alarming report of a resistance breaking G. pallida population came from Emsland (Germany). In the following years, many cases of highly virulent G. pallida populations came in from Germany and the Netherlands. Now posing a serious threat to the West European potato industry. Since resistant cultivars are commercially not available, nematicides and soil fumigation are banned, and alternative control measures are of limited value, there is currently no effective approach in combatting resistance breaking PCN. Through a combination of comparative genomics, systematic effector screening and functional analysis we aim to identify the molecular basis of resistance breaking G. pallida. Additionally, we will attempt to elucidate the molecular interaction between highly virulent G. pallida populations and semi-resistant potato cultivars.
Effective start/end date1/02/22 → …


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