Objectives

The aim of VIROPLANT (Virome NGS analysis of pests and pathogens for plant protection) is to apply next generation sequencing (NGS) technology and empirical biological experiments to develop new environmentally friendly virus-based control strategies against bacterial, fungal and insect vector transmitted diseases (phytoplasmas and viruses) as well as insect pests.

Seventeen partners from 8 European Countries will meet for the H2020 funded project VIROPLANT kick-off meeting on June 20-21 in Torino (Italy).

VIROPLANT will develop new biocontrol agents based on viruses infecting phytopathogenic bacteria, fungi, insect pests and insect vectors to provide new tools to protect crop plants.

Cucumovirus_CucumberMosaic SQUARE

An International Research Project H2020

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The vast majority of viral species are completely harmless or even beneficial and play an essential role in the ecosystems.

 

Bacterial diseases of kiwi, bean, stone fruit trees, tomato and cucumber, and fungal diseases of grapevine, tomato, lettuce and strawberry will be case studies in ViroPlant Project. Insect pests of horticultural importance and insect vectors of tomato, pepper and onion viral diseases and the grapevine Flavescence dorée phytoplasma are also included.

 

ViroPlant Project has a €3 million budget supporting a multi-actor approach, with different European Universities, Research Centres and small and medium Enterprises that register and produce biological control agents. Grower’s associations and extension services are also partners.

 

ViroPlant Project has received the funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement 773567.

MYCOVIRUSES
AGAINST FUNGI

(Lead beneficiary: UPM)
Partner beneficiaries: IPSP-CNR, LUKE, Agrion.

This work package is to advance research on virus-caused hypovirulence for plant fungal diseases and develop novel strategies for biocontrol against fungal diseases with mycoviruses. We will also derive VIGS vectors and explore the potential of such vectors for the in vivo and in vitro production of dsRNA. Such dsRNA will be used for deriving different RNAi systems for containing fungal diseases.

PHAGE COCKTAILS
AGAINST BACTERIA

(Lead beneficiary: KULEUVEN)
Partner beneficiaries: IPSP-CNR, UniREADING, TI-BD, ILVO, UniUTRECHT, APS, Agrion.

The main objective of this work package is to identify and validate bio-based control tools for bacterial diseases of plants. To date, copper, which is harmful for the environment and thus not sustainable, is the only available (chemical) approach to control bacterial diseases in agriculture.

VIRUSES AGAINST
INSECT PESTS AND VECTORS

(Lead beneficiary: INRA)
Partner beneficiaries: IPSP-CNR, UVEG, Agrion.

This WP will tackle insects as direct pests or as vectors of important diseases to agricultural crops. It will identify “indigenous” viruses that can be further exploited as biocontrol agents (VBCA) against major agronomical insect pests and vectors, and include viruses in ecological practices for crop protection. In this WP, we shall also test new viral BCA methods based on identified candidate Iflaviruses for inoculative strategies and VIGS vectors.

TECHNO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM
ANALYSIS & BUSINESS MODELLING

Objectives: the overall objective of this work package is to integrate the techno-scientific knowledge developed in this project with socio-economic and regulatory considerations regarding the application of new pest control strategies making use of specific selections of biological control organisms, also when genetically modified. The integration of the different technical, regulatory and socio-economic considerations aims at increasing the likeliness of a successful market introduction of novel pest control solutions developed in this project and in future similar innovation projects.

SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE
OF VIRUS-BASED NATURAL PRODUCTS

Objectives: mapping the collective imagination about virus in terms of public perception, in particular for hazards and risk, which orients production and consumers behaviour. Providing indication for communication strategies, in order to identify drivers and resistences to cope with: 1) review of the literature on European public perception of BTI – Bibliometric approach / Content analysis; 2) mapping trends and changes in relation to gender and generation. Construction of raw materials for Delphi Method and Focus Group.

ViroPlant Solutions for:

ViroPlant Timeline

VIROPLANT Kick-off Meeting
June 20th -21st | 2018

Botanical Garden, Viale Mattioli 25, Turin, Italy. Overall Objectives of the Project; Partner Involved; Scientific Coordination; Communication System.

VIROPLANT YEAR #1
Sample collection and screening

Assessment of social perception of virus-based biocontrol agents.

VIROPLANT YEAR #2
List of viruses as potential biocontrol agents

Assessment of perception of virus-based biocontrol agents among experts and agricultural stakeholders. Dissemination events to stakeholders and general public.

VIROPLANT YEAR #3
Final business plan for selected virus-based biocontrol agents

Stakeholder meeting for exploitation of VIROPLANT biocontrol agents beyond the end of the project.

ViroPlant Academic Partners

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ViroPlant Industrial Partners

ViroPlant Stakeholders

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