Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology has proved to be pivotal for elucidating the complexity and the role of the microbiome associated with plant and animals. The role of the virome as a sub-component of the microbiome is beginning to be unveiled because of new ways to analyse the data and in recognition of its importance in shaping biological systems. The aim of VIROPLANT is to apply NGS technology and empirical biological experiments to develop new environmentally friendly virus-based control strategies to manage bacterial, fungal and insect vector-transmitted diseases (phytoplasmas and viruses) as well as insect pests. So far, plant protection through viruses has relied on limited successful model systems, such as baculoviruses for lepidopterans, and one mycovirus for the control of chestnut blight; moreover, viruses infecting bacteria (phages) are also state of the art tools with potential to cope with antibiotic resistant bacterial strains in human and veterinary medicine. VIROPLANT will create a database of new viruses (and virus derived biotechnological products) to increase the arsenal for the control of plant diseases caused by the most important biotic stresses. Different NGS and bioinformatics approaches will be applied to explore the virome diversity, including latent infections that can be potentially exploited for new biocontrol strategies. Protocols of risk assessment will be implemented for virome-based model control strategies. VIROPLANT will address the social and gender-specific perception of the use of virome-based techniques as alternatives to traditional pesticides. A business plan for representative categories of virome-based control strategies will be included. Small and medium enterprises and stakeholders will be involved in bringing the most promising products to the market. The consortium will cover experts in insect virome, phage therapy and mycoviruses from different agro-ecological systems throughout Europe.
Deadline 31 October 2021
Category HORIZON 2020 RIA – Research and Innovation action
Institute IPSP – Institute for sustainable plant protection
Author Massimo Turina email@example.com
Area Molecular and cellular basis of life of organisms