Benaki Phytopathological Institute

Attica, Greece

Benaki Phytopathological Institute

Attica, Greece

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 252.00K | Year: 2016

Insects can be accidentally introduced into non-native ecosystems by humans, or expand their geographical range toward the poles as a consequence of global warming. As they invade new environments, exotic species interact with local species, modifying the structure of local food webs. New associations arising from with biological invasions can impact the strength of existing links with effects cascading through trophic levels. When invasive species are herbivores that can attack economically important crops, they can cause serious economic losses. For example, recent invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) (Halyomorpha halys) in Europe and North America has the potential to interfere with local trophic webs and poses a serious threat to several agro-ecosystems. In this project, we will adopt a multidisciplinary approach to study the ecological consequences of BMSB invasions. In particular, we will focus on the effect of alien herbivore invasion on local natural enemies using the following work packages: 1) the impact of exotic herbivores on infochemical communication between plants, herbivores and natural enemies; 2) Learned responses of parasitoids to infochemical evolutionary traps in a climate change context; 3) Contest behaviour of local egg parasitoids for possession of co-evolved and non-coevolved hosts; 4) Patch time allocation of local egg parasitoids after alien herbivore invasion: behavioural and modelling approaches; 5) Molecular aspects of indirect plant defences against invasive and local species 6) Genetic structure of invasive alien herbivores across Europe and North America The proposed research will be of great relevance for the RISE call as it will be an unparalleled opportunity for complementary European and Canadian research groups to join forces, resulting in the development of lasting research collaborations, the transfer of knowledge between research institutions and improving research potential at the European and global levels.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-06 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2012

The proposed project aims to develop innovative methods, tools and concepts for the replacement of copper in European organic and low input fruit, grapevine, potato, and tomato production systems. Copper-free production systems will be achieved by (i) providing alternative compounds, (ii) smart application tools and (iii) by integrating these tools into traditional and novel copper-free crop production systems. The copper-free apple, grapevine, potato and tomato production systems will be (iv) evaluated in a multi-criteria assessment with respect to agronomic, ecologic and economic performance. CO-FREE will also develop strategies to develop (v) smart breeding goals by development of crop ideotypes and (vi) foster consumer acceptance of novel disease-resistant cultivars by consumers and retailers. By involving farmers, advisors, plant protection industry, policy makers and researchers as well as the stakeholders of the European organic and low input sector (food supply chain, retailers, producers associations), CO-FREE will ensure a rapid development, dissemination and adoption of the copper replacement strategies. The multidisciplinary consortium proposed for the project includes 11 academic and 9 industry (all SMEs) partners from 10 European countries. All partner institutions are leaders in their respective fields and/or are leading providers of advisory services to farmers, retailers, policy makers and other stakeholders in the organic and low input sector.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2011.1.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 1.31M | Year: 2011

Today, human risk assessment and environmental risk assessment are typically separated. Existing risk assessment (RA) experience and regulations are challenged by future RA needs. - There is a lack of mutual understanding between subject matter experts of individual disciplines. - Data from toxicological and ecotoxicological studies is not readily accessible by risk assessors across disciplines. - The need for RA will continue to increase (e.g. REACH or toxicity of mixtures) along with budget restrictions and political and public pressure to reduce the number of animal tests. Therefore, more cost effective, predictive and rapid tests for high quality sustainable RA are needed including a better exploitation of existing data. - More transparency in RA is needed to allow better risk communication to regain consumer/public trust and to give unambiguous guidance for improved risk management. - Scientific RA plays an increasing role internationally for global risk governance and as a tool to support sustainable trade practices. Divergence often arises on risk policies and measures, sometimes due to different RA approaches. Therefore, stronger international co-operation in this area is needed. Against this background, the overall objective of the proposed coordination action HEROIC is to establish and co-ordinate a global network of European and international experts and stakeholders from different disciplines to establish stronger interfaces between human and environmental RA, between RA and risk management, between the various agencies and countries within the EU and between agencies and industry. To this end, the HEROIC consortium members will make full use of their own extensive networks to involve stakeholders and experts in workshops, roundtables and outreach activities. These coordinating activities will result in enhanced sharing of knowledge, building consensus and development of clear, easily understood, transparent and unambiguous integrated RA procedures.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-06 | Award Amount: 1.30M | Year: 2011

The Community Plant Health Regime (CPHR) aims to prevent the introduction, establishment and spread of regulated and quarantine plant pests. These pests pose increasing risks to European agriculture, horticulture, forestry and the environment. This is due to increased globalisation of trade (volume and diversity), but is exacerbated by climate change and EU expansion (increased pathways). In comparison, resources for national plant health inspection services, science programmes and research are declining. For this reason, the EUPHRESCO Phytosanitary ERA-Net was established in 2006, with the full support of the EU Council Working Party of Chief Officers of Plant Health Services. It aimed to better coordinate national, trans-national and EU-funded research in direct support of the CPHR (EU policy, inspection services and science capability). The current EUPHRESCO Project ends in 2010; this new EUPHRESCO-II proposal will deepen and enlarge the previously successful cooperation between research programmes. EUPHRESCO-II will: Strengthen the basis for, and result in, a self-sustainable, long-term, durable network; Deepen the cooperation through continued trans-national research that optimises limited resources, supports other plant health initiatives and coordination mechanisms, and further develops a culture of collaboration; Deepen the cooperation by improving processes and tools and reducing barriers; Enlarging the network (31 partners, plus 14 Observers) to increase its critical mass, address more regional or sector-based (e.g. forestry plant health) issues and increase opportunities for international cooperation with non-European countries that are either the source of quarantine pests or share similar pest problems. Overall, EUPHRESCO II will enhance the European Research Area that supports the CPHR. It will directly support EU policy, operations and science capability by providing rapid and customised answers to challenges caused by quarantine plant pests.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-12-2014 | Award Amount: 8.82M | Year: 2015

Euromix aim to develop an experimentally verified, tiered strategy for the risk assessment of mixtures of multiple chemicals derived from multiple sources across different life stages. The project takes account of the gender dimension and balances the risk of chemicals present in foods against the benefits of those foods. Important concepts for this new strategy are prioritisation criteria for chemicals based on their exposure and hazard characteristics and evaluation of the role of mode of action in grouping chemicals into cumulative assessment groups. In-silico and in-vitro tools will be developed and verified against in-vivo experiments, with focus on four selected endpoints (liver, hormones, development and immunology) to provide a full proof-of-principle. The EuroMix project will result in an innovative platform of bioassays for mixture testing and refined categorisation of chemicals in cumulative assessment groups. New hazard and exposure models will be embedded in a model toolbox, made available for stakeholders through an openly accessible web-based platform. Access to the web-based tools will be facilitated by training. Criteria will be set and guidance will be written on how to use and implement the tiered test strategy. Dissemination and harmonisation of the approach within EU, Codex Alimentarius, and WHO will be achieved by involving a.o. WHO and US-EPA in the project and by the participation of experts playing a key role in helping establish international food safety policies. It is expected that the new mechanism-based strategy, the bioassay platform, the openly accessible web-based model toolbox, and clear guidance on a tiered hazard and exposure test and risk assessment strategy will boost innovation in the public and private sector, provide a sound scientific basis for managing risks to public health from chemical mixtures, ultimately reduce the use of laboratory animals, and support the global discussion of risk assessment policies for mixtures.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-12 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2012

The PALM PROTECT consortium aims to develop reliable methods, for use by national plant protection organisations (NPPO), inspection services, growers and other end-users, for early detection, eradication, control and containment of the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus and the moth Paysandisia archon. The methods will be developed for use at origin, point of entry, in transit and on-site to combat these invasive pests of palm trees. The methods will support stakeholders and end-users in the implementation of Council Directives 2000/29/EC, 2007/365/EC, 2008/776/EC, 2009/7/EC and 2010/467/EU. The objectives identified to achieve these goals are: 1) to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the biology (life cycles, host range, capacity for dispersal, behaviour) of R. ferrugineus and P. archon to facilitate decision making for risk assessment and optimisation of monitoring and control methods. 2) To combat the spread and establishment of R. ferrugineus and P. archon by the development of technologies for the early detection and monitoring of these pests. Detection in quarantine areas using dogs, acoustic and thermal methods, and in open areas using trapping and aerial/satellite imaging, along with a decision support system 3) To develop methods to eradicate, control and contain R. ferrugineus and P. archon, to restrict their further invasion of EU territories. Scientifically based protocols will be developed for quarantine treatments, for eradication and containment including preventive and curative techniques, and proper disposal of infested material. 4) To disseminate the findings of this work both within and outside the EU Community, through working with NPPOs, the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) and other stakeholders. PALM PROTECT will address gaps in current technology for the detection, eradication and containment of R. ferrugineus and P. archon, thereby helping to minimise the economic and environmental impact of these pests.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-09-2016 | Award Amount: 7.06M | Year: 2016

XF-ACTORS aims to establish a multidisciplinary research program to answer the urgent need to improve prevention, early detection and control of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf). Recently, Xf was introduced into Italy, where it is causing severe damage to olive crops, and in France, where so far it is limited to ornamental plants and some landscape trees. The overall goal of the research program is to assess Xf potential to spread throughout EU territory, while maximizing its impact through a multifactor approach, based on a seamless integration amongst the 29 partners involved. Proposed actions will be complementary to those carried out under the Project POnTE - 635646, thus ensuring an unbroken continuity with currently ongoing efforts. Specific objectives have been outlined following a step-by-step route, from preventing its introduction into pest-free areas to the establishment of successful eradication strategies in infected zones. Preventive measures against Xf will be strengthened by implementing EU certification programs and developing a plan for establishing a EU Clean Plant Network. EU policy makers will be supported through the development of pest risk assessment tools, focused on current outbreaks and forecasting potentially threatened regions. Surveillance will be properly implemented, supporting the development of early detection tools for field use, remote sensing technology and predictive modelling. Critical information on the pathogen biology, epidemiological traits and hosts under threat, will be gathered with the guidance of the American research groups with long-established research. At the same time, the insect-bacteria interactions will be determined, for developing strategic control measures. The final overall objective is a comprehensive integrated management strategy for diseases associated with Xf, applicable both IPM and organic farming systems, to prevent Xf spread, control its economic, environmental/social impact, when an outbreak would occur.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2010.1.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2011

The BROWSE proposal is focussed directly and precisely on all the requirements of the call text. Specifically, it will: - Review, improve and extend the models currently used in the risk assessment of plant protection products (PPPs) to evaluate the exposure of operators, workers, residents and bystanders. - Use the new and improved exposure models to contribute to the implementation of Regulation 1107/2009 on authorisation of PPPs, replacing Directive 91/414/EC. - Use the new and improved exposure models to contribute to the implementation of the Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. - Involve all relevant stakeholders and end-users and take full account of relevant gender issues in developing the exposure models and policy tools. The workplan is aligned with these key objectives. In addition, several key cross-cutting themes are established to ensure their consistent and integrated treatment throughout the project. These are: exposure scenarios, volatilisation, transfer coefficients, statistical modelling and calibration, and data management. Key stakeholder groups will be represented on the project Advisory Panel as well as participating directly via consultations and workshops, and in surveys to obtain new data on practices and sociobehavioural and gender factors influencing exposure. Models for key exposure scenarios covering different regions of the EU will be developed in order of priority based on consultation with stakeholders, implemented as user-friendly software, and tested with end-users. Project outputs will be delivered through established networks with end-users in EU and national authorities, national training organisations, the pesticide industry, and relevant trade unions and NGOs. The consortium is superbly equipped to address the project objectives, including international leading experts on every aspect and long experience in both the science and the regulatory aspects of exposure assessment.


Anagnostopoulos C.,Benaki Phytopathological Institute | Miliadis G.E.,Benaki Phytopathological Institute
Talanta | Year: 2013

Olives and olive oil are two of the most important commodities produced in the Mediterranean region. Due to their significant economical importance, the usage of pesticides in their production is systematic, by using a wide range of plant protection products with a variety of modes of action. As a consequence, monitoring of their residue levels in this products is a necessity. In the present study a gas and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry multiresidue method, with a short sample preparation step, based on acetonitrile extraction is developed and validated according to the European Union guidelines (SANCO Doc. No. 12495/2011) in olives and olive oil, with a large scope that includes pesticides of different chemical classes. Good sensitivity and selectivity of the method were obtained with limits of quantification at 10 μg/kg. All pesticides had recoveries in the range of 70-120%, with relative standard deviation values less than 20-25%, at both validation levels. Excellent linearity was achieved with r≥0,99 for both matrices. The method is easy, with low consumption of reagents, is characterized by reliability, sensitivity and therefore is suitable for the monitoring the levels of multiclass pesticides residues in olives and olive oil. The method was applied to 262 samples of the Greek market, of which 7% were found positive for the present of pesticides. In some of the samples 2-8 different analytes were detected. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2008-1-01 | Award Amount: 1.04M | Year: 2009

The basic concept of BPI Plant-Heal is the scientific and technological reinforcement of Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI) towards utilization of biotechnology novelties for integrated pest management and sustainable agriculture. The main objective is to facilitate the expansion of a high-quality National Research Institute into a European Plant Health Research Centre focused on the study and exploitation of selected plants/organisms, produced by rDNA technologies. The comprehension of molecular interactions between plants and pests at the genomic and post-genomic level is offering innovative approaches for the development of strategies for crop protection with acceptable risk assessment outcomes. BPI aims to mainly enhance its capabilities to perform fundamental research and conduct pest risk analysis of quarantine pests, whose global distribution is expected to become of great importance. The development of BPIs capacities in new emerging scientific fields will be mainly based on existing and lately acquired, state of the art equipment supplemented by a containment greenhouse envisaged in this proposal. In addition, the recently recruited qualified researchers and the recruitment of experienced ones as foreseen in the project, the development of strategic partnerships with UNEW, UK, INRA, France and IVIA, Spain and two-way secondments for transfer of advanced know-how will lead to scientific excellence. Finally, the dissemination of the research activities of BPI to the scientific community and stakeholders in Greece and EU would upgrade BPIs reputation and improve its capacity to raise funds from EU and International sources. The reinforcement of scientific and technological potential, would lead to the establishment of a state of the art Research Centre in EU comparable to other European ones, distinguished for scientific excellence with a positive impact on the socio-economic status of the country and the procedure of European integration.

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