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Coordinatore di progetto: Assunta Bertaccini

Insect-borne prokaryote-associated diseases in tropical and subtropical perennial crops

The project aims to address economically important insect-borne prokaryote-associated diseases of perennial crops (palm, citrus and grapevine) grown in tropical and subtropical areas which are seriously affecting the trade and import of agricultural products and materials worldwide. These diseases are due to the presence of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ associated with “lethal yellowing” in palms and “yellows” in grapevine, and ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ associated with “Huanglongbing” in citrus. These diseases could also present a possible threat to EU agriculture as a result of accelerated climate change that the EU is facing nowadays. The management of these diseases will be focused on tropical and subtropical areas in Africa (Ghana, South Africa and Reunion), the Americas (Mexico, Chile) and the Caribbean (Guadalupe, Jamaica, Cuba), and subtropical regions in Europe (Spain). Prevalence of the aforementioned diseases is severe in these areas, giving rise to social and economic threats, affecting local agriculture and export of products internationally and, in particular, to the EU. Knowledge and technologies available in the EU countries will be deployed in tropical and subtropical regions for carrying out epidemiologic studies aimed at filling gaps in our knowledge (including climatic and cultural factors); integrated pest management strategies based on innovative diagnostic and prevention tools; reduced insecticide treatments; use of defence elicitors and improved resistant germplasm; and pest risk assessment schemes. The project will evaluate the economical sustainability and the industrial relevance of the proposed solutions, and will assess the social impact of these diseases, and the distributive effects in the target countries. Local plant protection organizations, farmers and producers will actively participate as partners and/or in the Stakeholder Advisory Board, taking part in field trials, demonstration and exploitation of the results.
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European Union
CRA - Viticoltura ed enologia - Conegliano (TV)
CRA - Centro di ricerca per la viticoltura (VIT)
CRA - Centro di Politiche e Bioeconomia (CPB)

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