Nematologists from more than 50 countries meet in Ghent

Pink stained female nematode with egg mass in plant root (large view)

Pink stained female nematode with egg mass in plant root

(10-09-2018) From 9 to 13 September more than 400 nematologists from 54 countries present their research at the 33rd conference of the European Society of Nematologists (ESN) in Ghent.

Harmful roundworms

Nematodes (roundworms) are the most abundant multicellular organism on our planet. Because they are (microscopically) small, they are often overlooked.

A number of nematodes such as potato cysts, beet cysts, root lesion and root-knot nematodes cause damage to our plants and crops. They are an important problem for Flemish agriculture and horticulture.

During the congress much attention is given to these harmful plant-parasitic nematodes. There are several sessions focussing on the control of potato cysts and beet cysts. Sustainable management becomes more important. New trends in resistance research, plant-nematode interactions, biological control agents, but also the use of cover crops as control measure are discussed.

During a keynote presentation, Emile Frison (IPES food) will explain the importance of agroecology to ensure sustainable food production in the 21st century.

Beneficial nematodes

Fortunately,  most nematodes are beneficial. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) are used to control insect pests. In 4 sessions the latest trends in the development and use of EPN are discussed.

Nematodes are also used as bio indicators and play an important role in studies on ecology, soil health and environmental pollution.

In addition, they also play an important role in the supply of nutrients to our crops. All these aspects are discussed during various sessions.

Research at Ghent University and ILVO

This conference is organized by Ghent University and the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO).

Both research institutions have a long standing tradition in nematological research and often work together.

Ghent University offers a unique international master's degree in Agro- and Environmental Nematology in which ILVO researchers also share their expertise.


Prof. Tina Kyndt

09 264 59 20

Prof. Wim Wesemael
09 272 24 45

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