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Bio-control of plant-parasitic nematodes on selected medicinal plantsin Northern Vietnam (NAFOSTED)

Main research question/goal

NAFOSTED is concerned with medicinal plants and how to protect these crops in a sustainable way. Medicinal plants are widely consumed in Vietnam. They are mostly collected from natural sources, which puts pressure on biodiversity. Cultivation of medicinal plants, however, is threatened by pests and diseases, particularly plant-parasitic nematodes (PPN), which also appear in Flanders with similar negative effects. Current measures against PPNs mostly still include harmful chemical-nematicides, but when using medicinal plants for human treatments, chemical control of PPNs should be replaced by safe alternatives. 

Research approach

The research will focus on the role of endobacteria in the cropping system and will fine-tune the functional interactions among endobacteria, crops, and the environment. Endophytic bacteria colonize root tissues inter- and/or intracellularly and have a mutualistic interaction with host plants. The endophytes may improve plant growth by supplying the host with nutrients, conveying stress tolerance, or inducing systemic resistance. With an holistic approach and knowledge on the mode of action, future selection and use of endophytic bacteria will be enhanced.


Use of biocontrol agents has a positive impact on the commercialization of medicinal plants, both in the country and abroad (export). In Flanders, plant-parasitic nematodes are an impeding factor for intensive organic fruit vegetable cultivation in greenhouses. The knowledge gained and the experience of growers in Vietnam contribute directly to the development of control measures in Flemish organic fruit vegetable cultivation.


Date:1 Jan 2021 →  Today