Cabeçalho | InternacionalInstituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo | Multimédia

Designação do projeto | COCOON Combined sustainable strategies for root-knot nematode management in protected crops
Código do projeto | PTDC/AGR-PRO/3438/2014; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016611
Objetivo principal | To develop a combined control strategy against root-knot nematodes (RKN), Meloidogyne spp., based on the use of the biological control agent Pochonia chlamydosporia, the activation of natural plant defence mechanisms and the use of partially resistant rootstocks.

Região de intervenção | Norte (Minho-Lima)

Entidade beneficiária principal | Universidade de Coimbra

Entidades cobeneficárias | Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo (IPVC)

Data de início | 01-07-2016

Data de conclusão | 30-06-2019

Custo total elegível do Projeto | 184 194 €

Custo total elegível do IPVC | 86 640,00 €

Apoio financeiro da União Europeia | 156 564,90 €



The specific objectives are: 1) to define and optimize the application method and concentration of plant defence activators against RKN in susceptible scions and commercially available RKN resistant rootstock cultivars (Task 2); 2) to evaluate the effects of plant defence activators which maximise crop protection when combined with P. chlamydosporia (Task 2); 3) to optimize an inoculation method of P. chlamydosporia on commercially available tomato rootstock cultivars that could be applied in a nursery environment (Task 3); 4) to identify changes in gene expression of plant pathogenicity and defence related genes that may be differentially expressed during plant-nematode-fungus interactions (Task 4); 5) to assess the efficiency of the nonchemical, sustainable and environmentally friendly management strategy proposed in conditions closer to those found in agricultural systems (Task 5); and 6) to transfer the knowledge acquired during the project to the main actors in plant production and cultivation and the general public (Task6).



Task 1 - Root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp. and Pochonia chlamydosporia isolate cultures: Maintenance and inocula production – entidade beneficiária responsável – Universidade de Coimbra

Task 2 - Maximising crop protection by combining plant defence activators with P. chlamydosporia – entidade beneficiária responsável – Universidade de Coimbra

Task 3 - Inoculation method of P. chlamydosporia on partially resistant tomato rootstock cultivars with potencial application in a nursery environment – entidade beneficiária resposnável – Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo

Task 4 - Gene expression responsible for nematode resistance using the proposed alternative control strategy – entidade não beneficiária responsável – Bionemax Lda.

Task 5 - Combined strategy against RKN in grafted tomato crops – entidade beneficiária responsável – Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo

Task 6 - Exhibition/Open Day to disseminate7advertise results/new management strategy – entidade beneficiária responsável – Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo.


Resultados esperados:

The objectives will be achieved by the integration of researchers with experience in the field of biological and integrated control of plant-parasitic-nematodes, organic and integrated vegetable production, and on molecular characterisation of plant-nematode interactions. Standard techniques will be used to maintain and multiply the nematode and the fungus isolates and to produce inoculum (Task 1). The same isolates from both genera will be maintained at CFE/FCT/UC and IPVC simultaneously. Plants respond rapidly to the presence of pathogens and to evaluate the potential trade-offs in investment in plant defence and susceptibility to nematode attack, small scale trials will take into account the influence of a number of variables, including the effects of different plant defence activator concentrations and application methods (Task 2). These bioassays will be run at CFE/FCT/UC.

As rhizosphere colonization by the fungus is essential for nematode control, and varies among different plant species and cultivars, small pot bioassays will be performed at IPVC to find a compatible match between P. chlamydosporia and a given plant cultivar and to promote colonization of the rhizosphere very early on, in young plantlets before they are transferred to the field (Task 3).

The identification of pathogenicity and defence-related genes differentially expressed during the plant-nematode-fungus interactions will be studied using quantitative PCR at BIONEMAX (Task 4). This will help to clarify the molecular mechanisms behind the improved nematode control obtained under laboratory conditions.

Finally, to establish a proof-of-concept on the combination of nematode control methods, a large pot trial in field conditions (polythene tunnel, mimicking commercial cultivation) will be established at IPVC, with the collaboration of CFE/FCT/UC and BIONEMAX, using the management strategy that strengthens the natural plant defence mechanisms combined with the use of a biocontrol agent in grafted plants (Task 5). An applied perspective will be considered, so parameters on tomato yield and fruit quality will be recorded. Treatment interactions and overall effects will be assessed with proper statistics to evaluate the contribution and interaction of applying combinations of nematode control methods.

Knowledge acquired during the project will be used to raise public awareness of nematode problems and current alternative control strategies in an Exhibition/Open Day that will be held at IPVC with the collaboration of CFE/FCT/UC and BIONEMAX (Task 6). This will also serve as an opportunity to exchange knowledge and discuss ideas with nurseries, growers and collaborators.

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