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Nematodes can cause serious financial damage through yield loss, quality damage and export restrictions. Eurofins Agro is an important center of expertise in the field of nematodes and has been conducting nematode analysis since 1957. The nematode analysis is accredited for a number of inspection studies. 

Eurofins Agro offers different research packages for nematode analysis:

  • Total package which gives an overview of all the present nematodes
  • Packages for analysis of specific types or groups of nematodes 
  • Nematode Check: a limited analysis on the presence of nematodes (horticulture) 

Based on the report, together with information on host plant suitability and on the risk of damage, you can take measures such as adjusting the crop rotation, choosing another field or specific management measures. 

Methods

Eurofins Agro has several methods available to determine reliably which nematodes are present in the soil and in what quantities.

DNA-Analysis

More than 25 relevant nematodes can be analysed with the use of DNA-technique. The advantages of this method are: 

  • The sensitivity is higher than microscopic analysis: one individual nematode can already be detected in a mixture of about 10,000 other, unknown nematodes. 
  • Molecular analysis is always performed on all nematodes isolated from a sample. This is in contrast to microscopic analysis where only a limited fraction (20%) of the total sample volume is visually assessed. The probability of detecting nematodes that occur in low numbers is higher compared to microscopic analysis.
  • Suppressed populations (mixed populations of the same genus where one species occurs in lower numbers than the others) are always detected with DNA and brought to species.
  • Determination is not affected by the age and sex of the nematodes. The analysis is objective and well standardized, so that quality can be better ensured.

Microscopic analysis

The experts of Eurofins Agro can determine 600 to 700 different sorts of nematodes. Microscopy is very important for the validation of the DNA-analysis and for the determination of sort of nematodes that do not have a DNA-analysis available. Microscopic analysis is done in duplicate, by two different analysts. 

Incubation

In the free-living nematode analysis, you can request additional incubation. With this analysis, organic material from a soil sample is incubated for two weeks. Nematodes (especially Meloidogyne and Pratylenchus) that may still be present in root remains and eggs are also included in the analysis. The analysis thus provides a complete picture of the numbers of nematodes present.