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New biocontrol agents for powdery mildew on grapevine (BCA_grape)
Start date: Jul 1, 2008, End date: Mar 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The main goal of the BCA_grape project is to develop prototypes of new commercial Biological Control Agents (BCAs) against Erysiphe necator, the fungus causing the powdery mildew of grapevine. The interest of the participating SMEs rises from the fact that this disease matches with their strategic need to increase the offer for crops and diseases not targeted by their currently available products: grapevine is a very interesting potential market; a large amount of fungicides is used to control powdery mildews; E. necator is a key pathogen in traditional, integrated and organic viticulture; the sole BCA currently available on the EU market is not effective enough. So far no reliable solutions exist for the non-chemical control of E. necator. The 6 partners (4 SMEs and 2 RTD performers) are settled in four EU countries; other countries and end-users are involved in some project activities. BCA_grape is organised in 9 Work Packages. RTD is mainly in charge to RTD performers but involves also the SMEs. Research is mainly addressed to: i) find new BCAs, highly effective and well adapted to the European conditions (WP1 and WP2); ii) develop a technology for the industrial mass production and formulation of the new BCAs (WP3); iii) develop protocols for the field application in order to maximize efficacy in both integrated and organic vineyards (WP4); iv) develop and validate a molecular protocol for BCAs identification in order to distinguish them, monitor their spread and survival in the vineyard, and trace their presence along the grape production chain (WP5). Demonstration activities (WP6) are aimed at validating the RTD results in commercial vineyards across Europe. An international congress, publications and a web-site are aimed at disseminating the results (WP7). Training for the SME staff is aimed at facilitating the take up of results (WP8). Management of the project activities, knowledge, IPR and exploitation of the results by the SMEs have a specific WP (WP9).

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