PAPAS Announces Plan to Combat Potato Nematodes

A team of scientists and researchers named Potatoes & Pests – Actionable Science Against Nematodes (PAPAS) announced today their plans to address industry-wide challenges in managing potato nematodes. 

“Potato nematodes not only cause internal and external defects, but also reduce yield and market value,” says Louise-Marie Dandurand, Ph.D., director of PAPAS and associate professor and director of the University of Idaho Potato Cyst Nematode Program. “Some potato nematodes may even result in total crop rejection and regulatory action.”

Root knot and potato cyst nematodes are two of the most economically damaging pests of potato, causing up to 80% yield loss in infested fields,1 rejection of complete shipments, and garnering worldwide regulatory concern. There are currently no russet-type varieties with resistance to potato nematodes, and the use of soil fumigants for control has become increasingly restricted.

“Potato growers face challenges in managing plant-parasitic nematodes and reducing the damage that they cause,” Dr. Dandurand explains. “Our ongoing research will focus on developing resistant commercial varieties, establishing damage thresholds and decision support systems, as well as creating new nematode control measures.” 

PAPAS’ team of researchers and investigators includes:

  • Louise-Marie Dandurand, Ph.D., Project Director, University of Idaho
  • Cynthia Gleason, Ph.D., Project Co-Director, Washington State University
  • Joseph Kuhl, Ph.D., Project Co-Director, University of Idaho
  • Marisol Quintanilla, Ph.D., Project Co-Director, Michigan State University
  • Philip Watson, Ph.D., Project Co-Director, University of Idaho
  • Inga Zasada, Project Co-Director, USDA-ARS, Corvallis
  • Allan Caplan, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, University of Idaho
  • Walter DeJong, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Cornell University
  • Max Feldman, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, USDA-ARS
  • Ananth Kalyaranaman, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Washington State University
  • Rich Novy, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, USDA-ARS
  • Inna Popova, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, University of Wisconsin
  • Sagar Sathuvalli, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, University of Oregon
  • Rhett Spear, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, University of Idaho
  • Xiaohong Wang, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, USDA-ARS
  • Jonathan Whitworth, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, USDA-ARS
  • Fangming Xiao, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, University of Idaho

For research involvement inquiries, contact Dr. Dandurand (, 208-885-6080), Dr. Quintanilla (, 517-881-3740) or Inga Zasada (, 541-738-4051.

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