BIOVEXO demonstrates a set of new and innovative biopesticides targeting the plant-pathogenic Xylella bacterium and its transmitting spittlebug vector, to fight a disease that seriously threatens olive and almond production in the European Mediterranean region. BIOVEXO’s biopesticides will reduce the input of chemical insecticides and will sustainably increase and secure European olive cultivation in its valuable socio-economic context. The biopesticides will be tested for use in curative and preventive approaches. We introduce six promising candidate biocontrol solutions acting either against Xylella or its vector, which include two bacterial strains, a microbial metabolite, two plant extracts, and an entomopathogenic fungus. Following small-scale on-field validation and improved formulation, BIOVEXO will upscale production of best-performing biopesticides (minimum two Xylella- and two vector-targeting ones) to large pilot scale for real-life evaluation in two major Xylella outbreak regions in Europe (Apulia, Italy and Mallorca, Spain) representing distinct pedoclimatic conditions. Then, BIOVEXO’s biopesticides will be demonstrated in a combined and integrated approach (IPM) on traditional and newly planted olive orchards in the two areas. Additional testing is done on almond trees in mainland Spain and Mallorca. The BIOVEXO consortium coming from academia, large industry, SMEs and associations contributes complementary expertise all along the value chain including practical knowledge and hands-on experience by participating olive growers and farmer associations. BIOVEXO will provide a mechanistic understanding of the biopesticides’ mode of action to support final product development and will ensure environmental and economic sustainability by performing LCA and risk, toxicity, and pathogenicity analyses. Thorough evaluation regarding regulatory compliance will prepare BIOVEXO’s biopesticides for smooth market entry post project.
Biocontrol of Xylella and its vector in olive trees for integrated pest management
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