In the last years increasing difficulties have appeared in vegetable crops to manage some diseases, such as those caused by Sclerotinia, Fusarium or Pythium spp., or some noxious plants, such as parasitic and perennial weeds. This is in part due to the lack of available efficacious control methods, to the ban of some chemicals, and to the prohibition of their use in organic farming. The use of biocontrol agents, although is widely considered a very promising strategy of disease and weed management at the soil level, has still a limited application at the European level, due to the limited efficacy of the microbes and to the lack of knowledge for their best use. <P>
The main aim of the project is to study some of the already available or the most promising biocontrol microorganisms (such as Fusarium, Trichoderma or Coniothyrium sp.), using a combination of strategies.
Studying the genetic and physiological enhancement strategies, the ecological fitness of the agents, the production, formulation and application methods, the integration with other organisms and with control methods, and assessing their quality and the risk of release into the environment, it will be possible to improve the efficacy of fungal biocontrol agents, allowing their wider use at the European level, and giving new important tools to support the production of safer and healthier foods.
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/026_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.