Call - 2020

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 in 2020 that are still considered as of 2020-10.

Plant health status of Fagus spp.

Short description: the project should gather knowledge on the risk of introduction/establishment of beech leaf disease in Europe. The project should: i) define the current phytosanitary status of Fagus spp. in Europe; ii) screen imported dormant beech to confirm routes of entry for Litylenchus spp.; iii) perform high-throughput sequencing studies of the beech leaf microbiome to identify differences between European and American trees, which may modify impacts iv) facilitate exchange of information through visits to infested beech forests in the US to improve understanding of management practices.

Expected output: knowledge on the plant health status of Fagus spp.; deeper understanding of the biology and epidemiology of Litylenchus spp.; knowledge on management practices.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Pathotypes of Globodera pallida

Short description: the project should survey pathotypes of Globodera pallida in Europe. Information will be used for testing and developing resistant potato varieties.

Expected output: knowledge on pathotype distribution.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Taxonomy and epidemiology of Pectobacterium and Dickeya spp, in Europe, North America and South Africa

Short description: the project should gather knowledge on Pectobacterium brasiliense and P. parmentieri, in particular on host range and control measures.

Expected output: improved knowledge on the two bacteria.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Developing and assessing surveillance methodologies for Agrilus beetles

Short description: with the exception of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), there is relatively little information published within the scientific literature on surveillance and monitoring protocols for the wood boring insects of the Agrilus genus. The project should consolidate the studies that have been conducted, and in collaboration with North American researchers, start to develop monitoring tools for specific Agrilus species (e.g. A. anxius, A. bilineatus, A. biguttatus, A. auroguttatus) and/or develop a more generic trapping technique for this group of wood boring insects.

Expected output: knowledge on Agrilus surveillance and monitoring methodologies and progress on designing and testing species-specific and generic Agrilus trapping techniques.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Seed borne pests and pathogens of conifers

Short description: The project should gather knowledge on seed borne pests of conifer seeds and develop DNA-based methods/metabarcoding methods for the generic detection of pathogens. The main focus of the work should be on the conifer genera Pinus, Picea, Abies, Pseudotsuga and Cedrus.

Expected output: Information on pests and pathogens present on seeds, DNA-based methods for the diagnosis of seed borne diseases, and guidance on how to interpret results.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Epidemiology, distribution and control measures of priority invasive and (re)emerging arthropod pests in fruit crops and vineyards

Short description: the project should gather information on the phenology and occurrence of arthropods pests such as Aromia bungii, Popillia japonica and Halyomorpha halys on different host plants with emphasis on fruits crops and vineyards in the partner countries. The project should collect information on existing/applied monitoring protocols and on diagnostic methods and control measures. Specimens collected should also be characterized with molecular methods to obtain information about the populations occurring.

Expected output: improved knowledge about the phenology of the proposed pests; updated distribution maps for the proposed pests with regard to different host plants; recommendations about monitoring tools/methods and control measures for the selected pests.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Biology and epidemiology of Xylella fastidiosa and its insect vectors

Short description: the project should develop knowledge on the biology and epidemiology of vectors (and potential vectors) of Xylella fastidiosa. Wherever possible, transmission studies on the efficiency of the different (potential) vectors to transmit the bacterium to a range of relevant host plant species should be undertaken. Seasonal movement of vectors between crops and wild plants and their abundance should be studied in agroecosystems other than citrus and olive groves and vineyards. The development of traps or lures for the most common vectors should be considered.

Expected output: knowledge on the biology and epidemiology of vectors (and potential vectors) including feeding preferences and behaviour; knowledge on the efficiency of vectors’ ability to transmit X. fastidiosa; development of traps or lures for the collection of Philaenus spumarius; develop potential bio-control agents for vectors; investigate the use of insect nets and other alternatives for propagating plants.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Resistance breaking strains of Tomato spotted wilt tospovirus: distribution and evaluation of their impact on tomato and pepper production

Short description: the aim of the project is to determine the distribution of Tomato spotted wilt tospovirus resistance-breaking (TSWV-RB) isolates and to estimate the potential impact of these on tomato and pepper production. To facilitate this study, tests for the identification of TSWV-RB will be evaluated and a protocol developed.

Expected output: knowledge on the distribution of TSWV-RB isolates; knowledge on the potential impact of the TSWV-RB isolates on tomato and pepper (Capsicum) production; protocol for the detection and identification of TSWV-RB isolates.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Development of efficient methods and identification of barcodes for discriminating Grapevine flavescence dorée sensu-stricto from other related phytoplasmas and investigation of potential correlation between taxonomic identity and grapevine, alders and hazelnut plant hosts

Short description: the project should: (i) determine the occurrence and geographic distribution of hazelnut trees infected with phytoplasmas, especially with FD-related isolates; (ii) collect isolates and sequences of FD-related phytoplasmas infecting hazelnuts in the EPPO region; (iii) evaluate potential vectors and define epidemiological routes.

Expected output: knowledge on the biology and epidemiology of Grapevine flavescence dorée (FD)-related phytoplasmas.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Data sharing initiative

Short description: the aim of the project is to develop a database for hosting and sharing genomic data on viruses, but also viroids, and potentially bacteria and fungi. The database would contribute to avoid unnecessary regulation or actions and would enables the design of better molecular tests.

Expected output: a platform for data-sharing.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Baseline study on virus reservoirs

Short description: the aim of the project is to determine which viruses are present in relevant crops or potential reservoir hosts associated with agricultural fields. This could include e.g. species in the Solanaceae family, which are currently the target of the SERVIPLANT project, in which a ‘baseline’ study is conducted on Solanaceae in Belgium (native plant species, vegetables and ornamentals) using high-throughput sequencing.

Expected output: better knowledge and understanding of the current virus reservoirs in the EU.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Development and validation of rapid and sensitive techniques for cost-effective diagnostics for the detection of plant pests

Short description: the project should develop metagenomics tools for the detection of viruses and viroids in horticultural plants and botanical seeds. Of particular interest are Southern tomato virus, Potato spindle tuber viroid and Pepino mosaic virus. Although a number of methods have recently been reported, there is evidence that methods may not be as specific as necessary to cover all isolates.

Expected output: validated diagnostic protocols.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Validated detection scheme for Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens in bean (seeds) and other proteus crops

Short description: no (validated) diagnostic protocol is available for the detection of Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens on seeds. The project should evaluate available selective media and molecular detection tests.

Expected output: a validated diagnostic protocol including different tests for the diagnosis of Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens subsp. flaccumfaciens on seeds.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Use of basic substances as socially acceptable phytosanitary treatments both for consignments and at the place of production

Short description: basic substances are approved for use in the EU and are products which are already sold for other purposes, e.g. as a foodstuff or a cosmetic, but which can also serve as a plant protection product. The project should test and validate the use of basic substances as phytosanitary treatments to get desired results.

Expected output: validation of basic substances as plant protection products.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Disinfectants against quarantine viruses and viroids

Short description: The project should gather information on disinfection of tools and greenhouses surfaces against a number of viruses and viroids, and if necessary, perform additional experiments to identify effective disinfection protocols.

Expected output: validated protocols on the use of disinfectants against viruses and viroids.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.

Preparedness in biological control of priority pests

Short description: The use of biological control agents for pest species is often initiated in response to negative impacts (e.g. high economic damage/yield losses). Recently, New Zealand assessed and approved the release of the egg parasitoid Trissolcus japonicus against Halyomorpha halys before the arrival of the target pest. The project should conduct literature reviews on priority pest species and their potential for biological control for countries/regions where the pest is not yet present or where it is but only causing low levels of damage. Additionally, a biocontrol network could be established to facilitate technology transfer and information sharing.

Expected output: knowledge, development of a network to share information on biocontrol.

The short topic description can be downloaded here.