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Israeli researcher works on new method to determine nematodes

Israeli researchers Rafi Koren from Moshav Avigdor has developed a method to sterilize agricultural land against nematodes and other pests. Nematodes are worms found in soil which cause severe damage to vegetation. This method, currently still under development, does not use any pesticides, and thus avoids harm to the environment and drinking water.

Nematodes are tiny microscopic worms which live in soil, on the ocean floor and even in fresh water. There are about 80,000 different species of nematode. They can be dealt with using toxic pesticides but then of course this causes environmental damage. They can be treated with solar therapy by covering the affected area with plastic sheeting. The heat created destroys the nematodes in the upper layer of soil, but they are unharmed in the lower layer (to a depth of 30 centimetres) and therefore this treatment is not effective.

Rafi Koren the developer of the method and Israel Solodoch, Chairman of the Inventors’ Association

A particular type of nematode has a thin sharp pipe which penetrates the roots of the vegetation they attack. Nematodes eats root cells and live as an external parasites close to the roots.

Another type of nematode has a fine ‘trunk’ that injures the root. The nematode penetrates the root through the opening created and feeds of the plant’s cells. Where the nematode lives creates a swelling and external thickening which is known as a “gall-nut”.

Following a nematode attack, the roots’ ability to absorb food and water from the ground is damaged. Affected roots take on a darker colour and some of them even start to rot. An affected root can be seen by its damage and external protrusions.

There are certain types of nematode that are beneficial. They feed on bacteria, fungi and other pests. After sterilizing the ground using this new invention, these beneficial nematodes may be introduced into the soil leaving these ‘good’ nematode only, without the harmful ones.

Rafi Koren says that to continue the development of this invention will require an additional investment to complete the project.

The Israeli Association of Inventors and Entrepreneurs has a list of interesting inventions that are looking forward to continue this development. The development and realization of inventions can serve as a growth engine for the Israeli economy. This sector of the Israeli economy contributes to the supremacy of Israeli technology and industrial development as well as to exports.

A list of other patents may be seen on the Nufar website:

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