Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


DNA technique measures suitability of soil for onion crops


Nematodes, such as the stem nematode, and fungi, such as white rot, are particularly harmful for onion crops in the Netherlands: they cause rot. Soil samples are investigated to detect this; a labour-intensive and expensive operation. Together with the Laboratory for Nematology (University of Wageningen) the company Blgg has developed a molecular technique to detect the stem nematode and white rot in soil samples.

Agricultural laboratory Blgg will start using the new system in November 2005. The system quickly and accurately measures soil samples at the molecular level. In a series of comparative trials, the molecular test had a higher detection rate than the traditional microscopic investigation for both the stem nematode and onion white rot.

Each year thousands of soil samples are investigated for their suitability for onion crops. They are examined for the presence of the nematode Ditylenchus dipsaci (the stem nematode) and the fungus Sclerotium cepivorum (onion white rot). For years this has been done visually under the microscope; a specialised and labour-intensive process.

Blgg director Henri Hekman had been looking for a more accurate, faster and cheaper method for some time. He came into contact with Wageningen researcher Hans Helder who, with funding from Technology Foundation STW, was compiling a DNA database of all nematode species in the Netherlands. This database, together with a method for the easy extraction of DNA from nematodes, forms the basis for the technique developed to detect harmful nematodes. The Technology Foundation STW filed a patent for this technology, and this patent was recently transferred to Blgg.

In close cooperation with the Laboratory for Nematology, Blgg managed to successfully combine the fundamental knowledge from the patent with state-of-the-art laboratory practice. The result is a practical test that conclusively demonstrates the presence of both the stem nematode and onion white rot.

Both parties are continuing to work on the development of molecular tests to detect other plant pathogenic nematode species in the soil. With this new method, the analysis of soil samples under the microscope will be made superfluous. It will soon be possible to detect nematodes extracted from the soil samples according to their individual DNA ’barcode’. The grower can then decide whether or not he wants to grow onions on the plot of land tested.

Dr C.B. de Boer | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>