Wageningen UR Plant Research International (PRI)
Scientists of Wageningen UR Plant Research International (PRI) work on agricultural systems that are sustainable in every respect. The ambition is to develop agricultural systems capable of producing sufficient healthy food for a growing world population, while ensuring a decent income for farmers and reducing the environmental impact of food production. PRI is one of the nine applied research institutes of Wageningen UR (University & Research centre). The strength of Wageningen UR lies in its ability to join the forces of these specialised research institutes - named DLO - and Wageningen University. Understanding of the links between food production, nutrition, health, livelihood and the natural environment, as well as the combination of natural and social sciences, leads to scientific breakthroughs that can quickly be put into practice and be incor- porated into education. Because Wageningen UR has many years of experience with public-private collaborations – through which innovative, business generating concepts emerge from scientific knowledge – it is a key player in the Dutch government’s Top Sector approach. The ability to develop applications for industries is based on world class science.
The scientific quality of Wageningen UR is affirmed by the prominent position it occupies in international rankings and citation indexes.
The scientific quality of Wageningen UR is affirmed by the prominent position it occupies in international rankings and citation indexes. According to the National Taiwan University Ranking 2013 it is the best agricultural research institution in the world. In education rankings Wageningen UR also scores exceptionally: for nine years in a row it has been labelled ‘Best University in The Netherlands’ by the study guide for higher education (Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs).
Many of the approximately 6,500 staff members and 10,000 students from over 100 countries are involved in international projects. Across the world they aim ‘to explore the potential of nature, to improve the quality of life’.
Within the PRI Business Unit ‘Biointeractions & Plant Health’, the Plant Disease Management team develops novel strategies for disease control with a strong em- phasis on biological control of soil-borne and leaf diseases. Jürgen Köhl coordinates the EU project BIOCOMES which started in December 2013. A consortium consisting of 27 partners will develop new products for biological control of pests and diseases in major European crops. He also coordinated the EU project REPCO (2003 to 2007)which aimed at the replacement of copper fungicides in organic farming. Several novel products found in REPCO are now further developed in CO-FREE. An example is the fungal isolate Cladosporium cladosporioides H39. This novel antagonist was selected by PRI for control of summer epidemics of apple scab. Within CO-FREE, H39 is tested in a series of field trials by several partners and PRI investigates the still unknown mode-of-action of this promising antagonist.