Project Title.
PLANTBIOPROTECT: “Development of plant bio-protectants that induce resistance to diseases and can be applied in organic farming.”
Research project under the joint research projects for 2002-2003, based on the agreement for cooperation in the field of scientific and technological research and industrial development between Italy and Israel.

Funding Entity.
European Union and Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Proposing parties.
– Cosvitec soc. cons. a r.l.
– University of Naples – Department of Arboriculture Botany and Plant Pathology – Faculty of Agriculture – PORTICI
– The Weizmann Institute of Science (Department of Biological Chemistry).
– Mycontrol Ltd.

– To select and identify fungal species capable of inducing resistance on typical Mediterranean crops. This will be accomplished by testing varieties of species and developing a screening system based on the ability to induce resistance.
– Identify molecules involved in the interaction between the plant and the useful fungus using tomatoes and strawberries as typical productions, and a variety of molecular techniques. In this regard, in vivo Test fractionation of all species and selected compounds on tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, lettuce, zucchini in pre- and post-harvest, and development of application protocols will be used. Pathogens to be tested include Rhizoctonia spp. Botrytis spp., Fusarium spp., Armillaria spp., Colletotrichum spp., Bremia spp., and Penicillium spp.
– Determining genes that are up- or down-regulated for control of plant diseases in tomato plants whose roots and/or leaves are colonized by selected strains of the antagonistic fungus Trichoderma.
– Planting of tomato, lettuce , and strawberry in an experimental field through the use of bio-control agents.
– Plant species culture in three experimental greenhouses using bio-control agents.
– Employment of bio-control agents at postharvest.
– Quality assessment by chemical and microbiological parameters of products obtained from different experiments.