Rapid diagnosis of plant pathogens in agriculture based on antibody technologies (AgroGuard)


Plant pathogens cause significant (>20%) yield losses in major crops such as rice and maize during cultivation and post-harvest storage. Current disease and post-harvest control measures are expensive. Chemical fungicides in particular remain a major input cost in agriculture, especially in areas where high humidity and unfavorable weather provide ideal conditions for pathogens. Farmers and growers are motivated to limit the application of chemicals, thus reducing their input costs, but there is also a significant environmental justification and therefore growing pressure from politicians and consumers alike to find environmentally beneficial and sustainable approaches for disease management in agriculture. Therefore the early identification of plant pathogens is essential to ensure that appropriate action can be taken to fight plant pathogens.

© Fraunhofer IME | Max Schubert

Food security, food safety and nutrition are priorities for Vietnamese agricultural development in the future. Therefore, innovative approaches are needed to avoid the use of pesticides and increase yields. Detection systems based on nucleic acids are time consuming and can be used only by trained specialists in well-equipped laboratories. In contrast, antibody-based detection systems (e.g. lateral flow devices) can be used by growers and farmers in the field, providing results within a few minutes.

In this project, we will generate antibodies specifically recognizing viral and fungal pathogens that infect rice and other crops in Vietnam. Together with our Vietnamese partners and Senova GmbH, we will develop tailor-made detection systems, allowing the rapid, inexpensive and early identification of pathogens, ultimately reducing the need to apply pesticides.

Project Duration


Project Partners

Senova GmbH
Hanoi Agricultural University