The Nematology unit focuses on plant-parasitic nematodes, especially those of the genera Globodera, Meloidogyne and Bursaphelenchus. It is hosted by INRAE in Le Rheu, near Rennes, and benefits from the scientific environment of the Institute for Genetics, Environment and Plant Protection (IGEPP) joint research unit (UMR). Its missions cover:
- analytical activities using morphological/morphometric observation and molecular techniques;
- the development of analytical methods;
- expert appraisals;
- research work.
The unit has been the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for plant-parasitic nematodes for more than 10 years. Since 2019, it has also been the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for plant-parasitic nematodes, in consortium with the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) in Belgium.
In its field of competence, the Nematology unit has been ISO/IEC 17025 accredited since 2002.
The unit's research programmes are jointly developed and implemented in collaboration with INRAE’s nematologists, as part of the NemAlliance cluster for plant health. The cluster's members have complementary expertise enabling them to address issues at the level of populations and communities of plant-parasitic nematodes. The Nematology unit is also a partner of various international networks