Nematodes present a serious threat to farm crops. To assist in the development of new crop protection products, SGS has established nematode rearing and testing services at its facility in Piracicaba, Brazil.


Nematodes pose a significant threat to crops because, alongside their destructive capabilities, they are highly resistant and remain concealed in the soil. This means fields can easily become contaminated during the movement of farm machinery. Currently, there are very few viable crop protection solutions available to farmers to protect their crops from nematodes.

The SGS facility in Piracicaba, São Paulo, has extended its ecological and agronomical analysis capabilities to assist in the development of innovative and commercially viable control measures against nematodes. All testing is performed under controlled environmental conditions in phytotrons – protected environments in greenhouses and semi field situations. Our unique platform allows accurate testing of all new crop protection products under laboratory conditions. Importantly for product developers, SGS can perform these tests against all the most important commercially relevant nematodes.

Our nematode services begin with the collection and extraction of specimens from field samples. Once these are identified and quantified, our experts will map the nematodes in the field to ascertain information about infestation rates. To ensure accuracy in our results, the team has implemented extraction methods for both plant material and soil.

The team at Piracicaba has also established a mass-rearing program for nematodes to safeguard the supply of nematodes for bioassay testing and semi field studies. We are also able to sell particular species for study.

Our current library of nematode species includes:

  • Pratylenchus brachyurus – root lesson nematode (RLN)
  • Heterodera glycines – soybean cyst nematode (SCN)
  • Rotylenchus reniformis – reniform nematode (RN)
  • Meloidogyne incognita – root knot nematode (RKN)
  • Meloidogyne javanica – root knot nematode (RKN)

Bioassay testing is conducted under controlled environmental conditions. Testing is commenced on petri dishes, in nematode hatching chambers and/or pots/crops in phytotrons. To better assess the effects of the different treatments, dyes are applied under laboratory conditions. The results of these studies are then quantified and presented in an easy to understand format to the client.

The team holds considerable experience in working with both chemical and biological crop protection solutions, including resistant plants and all quality-control measures are observed to ensure all nematode inoculums work.

Comparative Assessment of Effect in Bioassay Figure

Figure 1. Comparative Assessment of Effect in Bioassay

Figure 1 shows an overview of biological and chemical products plotted showing gradients according to nematode infestation. On the right Neonicotinoids (Neo), on the middle-left are Bacillus spp. (Bac); Paecilomyces sp. (Pae); Pochonia chlamydosporia (Poc); Inoculated control ( and untreated non-inoculated (T.a). Both biological and chemical products are associated with a trend of higher plant height (Alt, A10, A30), root weight (P.10, P.30) and other agronomic characteristics of economic importance as nematode reproduction factors (FR). All these agronomic characteristics are plotted in the middle, marked in black. Although the chemical product reduces the population of nematodes, the biological products allowed greater growth and root development. What is the best strategy?

Once the biological efficacy of the crop protection solution is proven in the laboratory, our team can then offer semi field or greenhouse testing at one of our field trial stations at Piracicaba or Conchal.

SGS Solution

We provide a turnkey service for phytopathogenic nematodes, including sampling, extraction and identification, mass rearing of nematode species, bioassay and semi field testing against chemical and biological test items.

Our dedicated ecological and agronomical analysis team at Piracicaba includes agronomists, phytopathologists, soil scientists and microbiologists. Working together they can provide accurate insights into the agronomical and ecological relevance of any new potential solution to the problem of nematodes.

By establishing this comprehensive range of nematode rearing and testing capabilities in Brazil, SGS has again confirmed its commitment to the helping solve the problems of farmers around the world.

For more information, please contact:

Tarciso Bortolin
Laboratory Supervisor
t: +55 19 99843 4984

About SGS

As the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 97,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.