Information on research topics proposed for transnational collaboration through Euphresco will be displayed on this page.
The members of the Euphresco network propose each year a number of ideas that could lead to collaborations provided that they raise transnational interest, that coordinators are identified and national funds are committed.
Collaboration with non-Euphresco organisations (research institutes, universities, private companies and other plant health stakeholders) is encouraged and administrative formalities are very light. For any question, please contact the Euphresco coordinator.
The table below summarizes the research topics proposed for transnational collaboration.
Short description: The number of psyllid species known to harbour 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' is increasing. The project should aim at understanding the ability of these psyllids to vector 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' and the potential risks they pose to crop plants.
Expected output: an enhanced understanding of the epidemiology of 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' populations and their vectors.
Systems for awareness, early detection and notification of organisms harmful to plants
Short description: which systems for monitoring plant quarantine pests exist? What is the efficiency of these platforms and how they reach their target groups? The project should aim at making an inventory of the existing systems for raising awareness, to recognize, monitor and report plant pests and diseases or symptoms among professional and non-professional target groups in Europe.
Expected output: knowledge to support communication.
Short description: through the use of High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) in plant health, large numbers of previously unknown virus sequences are being revealed. The project should aim at characterising viral isolates from collections and at sharing best practices on methods for sequencing historic nucleic acids and for bioinformatic analyses.
Expected output: sequences for viruses with no (or only partial) existing sequence data, preferably for viruses for which biological and serological data already exists.
Range expansion of bark beetles in the genus Ips
Short description: first evidence of breeding by Ips typographus in the United Kingdom and expansion of the range of Ips amitinus in Scandinavia suggests that factors that previously limited or moderated their spread may be changing. The project should aim at assessing the climatic and anthropogenic factors that could be driving the changes in the ecology and distribution of this important group of forest pests.
Expected output: knowledge to inform policy, risk assessment and management options.
Characterisation of Pratylenchus nematodes within Europe and populations moving in trade
Short description: many Pratylenchus species described from Europe are very difficult to distinguish, and traditional morphology must be supplemented with molecular confirmation for accurate identification. The project should aim at characterising commonly occurring European Pratylenchus populations.
Expected output: protocols for reliable identification; material for collections.
Efficacy of anaerobic digestion as a means of destruction for infected plant material
Short description: the project should aim at investigating anaerobic digestion as a means of destruction for infected plant material, rather than landfill or incineration. The project will focus on quarantine pests such as Xylella and Xanthomonas spp.
Expected output: protocols for processing infected planting material; methods to test pathogen viability.
Early detection of Phytophthora in EU nurseries and traded plants
Short description: the project should aim at validating protocols based on (already developed) meta-barcoding methods to screen EU nurseries and traded plants for Phytophthora spp.
Expected output: protocols to screen traded plants.
Early detection and monitoring of plane wilt (also known as canker stain of plane)
Short description: the project should aim at developing and validating diagnostics tests for Ceratocystis platani and protocols for soil and water testing.
Expected output: protocols to screen traded plants.
Sampling and analysis of asymptomatic Citrus fruit and leaf litter to detect Phyllosticta citricarpa
Short description: the project should aim at evaluating the ethephon treatment of Citrus fruits to enhance symptoms expression of fruits infected by Phyllosticta citricarpa and facilitate visual inspection.
Expected output: protocols to induce early expression of symptoms and to support surveys.
Mitochondrial DNA characterisation of potato wart disease outbreaks
Short description: Recently, the annotated genomic sequence of Synchytrium endobioticum has become available, allowing the possibility to molecularly trace isolates on the basis of mitochondrial DNA. The project should aim at collecting (non-vital) S. endobioticum material from a wide variety of sources; mtDNA sequence data will be gathered.
Expected output: a reference database of mtDNA sequences to track and trace isolates.
Community Network for practices in Plant Virology
Short description: the project should aim at strengthening knowledge exchange on High-Throughput Sequencing as a diagnostic tool for plant viruses by facilitating exchange of information and practices.
Expected output: harmonised protocols for certification, monitoring, etc.
Resistance of crops (other than potato) against Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax
Short description: potato varieties that are resistant to Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax are available, but knowledge of green manure crops and other crops that are grown in rotation with potato is incomplete and fragmented. The project should aim at making an inventory and testing crops and varieties.
Expected output: protocols for breeders and growers.
Short description: the project should aim at developing a database of DNA sequences for the reliable identification of arthropod species of plant health importance.
Expected output: validated molecular sequences and metadata for arthropods of plant health importance to be included in relevant databases.
Reliable detection of plant pathogens in soil
Short description: Molecular detection tools (e.g. real-time PCR) to test soil matrices for the presence of soil-borne pathogens exist but they are impractical, as they can only be used with small amounts of soil. The project should aim at exploring the possibility of using large volumes of soil (>100 g) for total nucleic acid extraction which is suitable to use in a PCR test. Plant pathogens of particular interest are Phytophthora fragrariae, Fusarium oxysporum, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Plasmodiophora brassicae and several plant pathogenic nematodes.
Expected output: protocols for testing large volumes of soil for total nucleic acid extraction.
Comparison of pathogenicity assays
Short description: the project should aim at making an inventory of existing pathogenicity assays for particular bacterial or fungal isolates; a test performance study for a selection of methods will be organised.
Expected output: validated protocols for pathogenicity assays.
Pathogen survival in soil
Short description: the project should aim at studying the survival of selected bacterial and fungal pathogens in the soil and (decomposing) organic matter after harvest of the host crop.
Expected output: information on the epidemiology of pathogens and data on survival in field soil.
Validation of molecular diagnostic method for detection of Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) in seeds of tomatoes, chilies and eggplants
Short description: The project will aim at validating conventional and real-time RT-PCR tests developed for the diagnosis of Tomato brown rugose fruit virus.
Expected output: a diagnostic protocol for the detection of Tomato brown rugose fruit virus.
Next generation sequencing in bacterial diagnostics: WGS & meta-barcoding
Short description: the project will aim at facilitating exchange of knowledge and experience on High-Throughput Sequencing, with a focus on whole genome sequencing (WGS) and meta-barcoding for the study/diagnosis of plant pathogenic bacteria.
Expected output: scientific publications and harmonisation of practices.
ePRA: is an in silico pest risk assessment possible from the genome of the newly discovered viruses ?
Short description: there is a great potential for using the genome sequences of plant pests to infer biological features key for pest risk assessment. The project should aim at better understanding how, through appropriate (viral) data mining, it is possible to predict the biology of viruses recently identified through High-Throughput Sequencing.
Expected output: tools that can be used to predict biological features (and the risk to plant health) of newly discovered viruses.
Detecting virus-carrying Xiphinema spp. as an alternative to Xiphinema identification up to species level in trade
Short description: identification of Xiphinema spp. is difficult, due to lack of specimens and reliable molecular tests. The project should aim at developing diagnostic protocols for Xiphinema spp. based on the identification of viruses they may carry.
Expected output: diagnostic protocols for the detection of viruses in Xiphinema species of quarantine concern.
Remote sensing in plant health: expanding the scene
Short description: the project should aim at identifying wavelength packages for detecting specific biotic and abiotic stresses, to develop near-ground or other sensors targeting harmful organisms of phytosanitary concern, and to improve algorithms and software for remote sensing to be used by inspectors in the field.
Expected output: knowledge, tools and guidelines to support the use of remote sensing for official monitoring.
Exchange of experience and information on post-entry quarantine and quarantine stations for plants according to Directive 2008/61/EC
Short description: the project should aim at favouring the exchange of experience and information on post-entry quarantine and quarantine stations for plants according to Directive 2008/61/EC.
Expected output: knowledge on quarantine activities in various countries.