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The Nematology Group is involved in the development of integrated control strategies for plant parasitic nematodes that are important in agroforestry systems, including those of quarantine importance, and the study of host-parasite interactions.

Grupo de investigación dependiente del

​Departamento de Protección Vegetal

The Nematology Group has worked for more than 20 years on phytopathogenic nematodes of different genera that affect crops of agricultural importance, such as Globodera spp, Meloidogyne spp and, more recently, in the forest field with the quarantine nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus in collaboration with CIFOR's Wood Protection Group.​

The group is involved in the development of new effective and rapid diagnostics for the detection of plant parasitic nematodes that are important in agroforestry systems (including declared quarantine organisms), for this reason it works in close collaboration with the National Reference Laboratory for Phytoparasitic Nematodes of the CSIC.​

Likewise, it studies plant-nematode interactions with the aim of developing integrated control strategies to prevent the spread of quarantine nematodes.


Optimization of innovative treatments to control the dispersion of the Pine Wood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus.

The Nematology Group works closely with the CIFOR Wood Protection Group on issues related to the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, a pathogenic nematode, which causes sudden tree decay and death, affecting coniferous forest stands, its virulence has forced the European Union to take measures to prevent its spread. For this reason, the group studies the efficacy of the antixylophagous products allowed in the European Regulation of Biocides against the nematode (project RTA2010-00028-00-00), the efficacy of the ISPM 15 treatments and other alternative physical treatments (RTA2014-00004- 00-00), as well as control through biocontrol and bioprotection, in order to develop tools for integrated control.​

The Globodera spp collection

In the Nematology laboratory there is a collection of potato cyst nematodes, Globodera spp. The collection has more than 600 populations from more than 23 provinces. At this time the collection is being subjected to various protocols:

  • Collection cleaning.- The cysts of each population will be recovered, cleaned and transferred to more appropriate containers.
  • Determination of cyst viability.- Under optimal storage conditions (4oC), Globodera cysts can be viable for a long time. To determine if the collection is "alive" each population is being stimulated with potato root diffusate to determine the viability of each population.
  • Molecular analysis of populations.- Each population is subjected to molecular analysis to determine the species by multiplex PCR, which will also determine the presence of mixed populations, in order to create a DNA collection of each population.
  • Determination of the associated microbiota.- Each population is seeded in culture medium and the associated microbiota identified by 16S rDNA analysis.
Host-parasite interactions

At present, many proteins (effectors) have been described in parasitic nematodes of plants and animals that may be important in various aspects involved in the host-parasite relationship, such as defense suppression, migration, induction and maintenance of feeding sites etc.

In the Nematology laboratory, secretions from both phytoparasitic nematodes (Globodera spp and Meloidogyne spp) as well as animal parasites (Anisakis spp) are studied to determine their roles in the host-parasite interaction.


Coordinador de Grupo

  • Development of improved methods for detection, control and eradication of pine wood nematode in support of EU plant health policy
    2011 - 2015 | REPHRAME
  • Food safety and quality issues related to parasites in seafood
    2013 - 2016 | KBBE.2012.2.2.4-02
  • Teresa de Troya
    Estudio de nuevas técnicas de control de Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Optimización de la eficacia de tratamientos físicos de la madera y desarrollo de nuevos tratamientos
    2015 - 2018 | RTA2014-00004-00-00

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