Biocontrol for phytoparasitic nematodes

Phytoparasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms found in agricultural soils. They affect root development and cause significant yield losses for crops such as potatoes, sugar beet, carrots and cereals. These pests reduce global agricultural production by about 11%, a loss of several million tonnes of crops each year. For environmental and health reasons, almost all of the most effective pest control measures for these parasites are gradually being withdrawn from the market, leaving farmers with very few solutions.

The aim of the BIODERA project is to develop methods to control these phytoparasitic nematodes. It provides an innovative approach to crop protection by combining fertilizers with biocontrol solutions, resulting in a simpler crop management process: reduced environmental and ecological footprint, fewer units of phytosanitary products, less machinery use and reduced energy consumption.

For this project, the CMI ROULLIER joined forces with the ID3PT/FN3PT (R&D organisation of the Comité Nord de la Pomme de terre), the ITB (French Sugar Beet Technical Institute) and the “Resistance and Adaptation” division of the IGEPP research unit at the INRA in Rennes, as well as the Glycobiology and Plant Extracellular Matrix Laboratory (GlycoMEV) at the University of Rouen.

These bodies consider how different marine and terrestrial plant extracts inhibit the development of nematodes and their capacity to parasitise roots. In addition to studying the mechanisms of action involved in these interactions, experiments under controlled conditions and in the field will be carried out in order to determine the effectiveness of these bioactives. The provision of these new solutions as part of soil-enriching products or fertilisers will take into account the crop management processes specific to different sectors.

The BIODERA project has received €2,400,000 in funding (French Investments for the Future Programme) and is fully in line with the objectives of the national ECOPHYTO II plan, which aims for a 50% reduction in the use of pesticides by 2025. It officially started on 16th January 2017 and will last for four years.

On 30th January, midway through the project, we welcomed our various partners who were highly impressed by the strength of our resources and the promising results presented by Eric N’Guéma, the CMI’s Biocontrol R&D manager in charge of this major project.

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