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Developing new strategies to protect strawberry crop in Mediterranean countries

Strawberry is fundamental crop for Mediterranean countries, the fruits have unique flavour and precious nutritional properties and their economic value is extremely high. Growing healthy strawberry using sustainable protection solutions that preserve the fruits quality and yield, and respect human health and environment is a challenging task..

In this project complementary expertise of researchers from public and private institutions from Italy, Spain, France, Morocco and Turkey are joined in the effort to develop innovative tools, protocols and strategies suited to revise the pathogen control strategies in view of innovative concepts of protection management. Here, conventional in struments (e.g. traditional breeding programs made with local germplasm) are integrated with New Breeding Techniques (NBT) able to develop new plants and products that counteract the most aggressive pathogens and the new phytosanitary emergences.

General objectives

The Med-Berry project aims are 4:

  • 1: Resistant genes identification and exploitation. Local resistant germplasm will be used to develop resistant varieties against fungal diseases
  • 2: Development of NBT protocols, and RNA interference molecules. Intragenesis protocols will be applied to study the role of key strawberry defense genes to increase fruit resistance. Specific dsRNA molecules will be designed to target pathogen key genes by topical application on plants (SIGS).
  • 3. Socio-economic impact analysis. The economic sustainability of the developed solutions and their social acceptability across the Mediterranean countries will be evaluated to obtain realistic measure of the potential application of the new strategies.
  • 4. Dissemination. Large effort will be put to disseminate results in different farming and industrial contexts and to share the newly achieved knowledge through the strawberry research network and the organization of training activities.

Investigador Principal: José Luis Caballero Repullo

Correo electrónico de contacto: bb1carej@uco.es