Using walnut waste to control plant parasites

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Technopolis Group

A team of researchers from the Research Centre for Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products (CIEPQPF) and the Centre for Functional Ecology (CFE) of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) has developed an innovative application for recovered waste from the walnut fruit.

The process consists of the extraction of compounds with a “nematocidal” effect, which can control plant-parasitic nematodes that affect a wide range of species, thus preventing production losses (both in quality and quantity) in economically important crops.

Researchers have identified two compounds belonging to the group of "naphthoquinones", which would prove to be effective in combating plant-parasitic nematodes, with an emphasis on root-knot nematodes (from the genus Meloidogyne), so designated for inducing the formation of galls in the root system of several plants. It is estimated that each year these nematodes cause worldwide crop losses of around 5 %, which is an obstacle to agricultural production.

Main results
  • Development of innovative techniques to recover waste
  • Contribution to tackle plant and crop blights through a bio-based solution.