Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

DNA technique measures suitability of soil for onion crops

14.11.2005


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:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOP_6HQCCT_Eng

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>