Project: Innovative tools to fight pathogens and crop pests in the Mediterranean

Duration 15/11/2019 - 15/11/2022
Project Topic INTOMED develops novel, effective and sustainable tools that utilize (a) interactions between plants and soil-borne beneficial microbes and (b) natural key plant (metabolites and peptides) and bacterially-expressed RNA molecules to enhance the resistance of economically important Mediterranean crops, i.e. tomato, olive and citrus, to major agricultural arthropod pests and pathogens. Soil-borne beneficial microbes have long been recognized for their ability to improve plant growth and nutrition and prime the plant immune system against pathogens and herbivores in plants. We thus aim to first, assess the potential of selected marketed and laboratory-owned strains of beneficial microbes, including endophytes, for their ability to improve crop resistance to arthropods and pathogens and second, study the molecular mechanisms involved in promising microbe-plant-pest combinations with the aim to also identify plant secondary metabolites and peptides that mediate enhanced resistance and technically support future commercial biocontrol products. INTOMED also exploits the develoSMEnt of a GMO-free and effective pest control tool i.e. exogenous delivery of RNA molecules having the potential to trigger RNA interference (RNAi) against targeted pathogens/pests in both vegetables and fruit trees. Pilot demonstration trials, targeting end-users (farmers, SMEs) will assess promising beneficial microbes and plant molecules. In addition, INTOMED will increase public awareness of the nature of the proposed tools and analyse the impact of their acceptance. Our consortium includes 9 academic and industrial partners from Greece, Spain, France, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia. INTOMED will generate new knowledge on plant-microbe-pest interactions and develop novel sustainable tools to prevent outbreaks of economically important pests and pathogens in the Mediterranean.
Website visit project website
Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2018 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University to Thessaly Coordinator Greece
2 UMR PVBMT ("Plant Populations and Bio-aggressors in Tropical Environments") Partner France
3 Democritus University of Thrace Partner Greece
5 National Institute of Agricultural Rresearch of Morocco Partner Morocco
6 Polytechnic Institute of Bragança Partner Portugal
7 Jaume I University Partner Spain
8 National Center for Nuclear Sciences and Technologies Partner Tunisia
9 Citrus Technical Center Partner Tunisia