Soil disease suppressiveness in agricultural rotation systems

Soil disease suppressiveness in agricultural rotation systems

Terrestrial Ecology

Contact Person:

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

Disease suppressive soils offer effective protection to plants against infection by soil-borne pathogens, including fungi, bacteria, and nematodes. In agricultural systems, it is of great benefit to improve soil disease suppressiveness in order to guarantee crop yield, while needing lower inputs of pesticides. Soil legacy effects in rotation systems induced by the presence of previous crops can have a key impact on disease suppression in soils. However, we do not know which crop combinations are optimal for creating disease suppressiveness.


We offer an internship/thesis for MSc students to test disease suppression in soils originating from a greenhouse experiment where 12 common crop species were grown. There are also opportunities to further look at legacy effects in soil microbiome aspects. The project will also provide space to develop original hypotheses and experiments within the broader research question.

Skills required: candidates should have a background in soil science and enthusiasm for agriculture and ecology. Self-motivation and the ability to work independently are needed. The working language will be English.

  • Period: 5-6 months
  • Start: as soon as possible