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Ilardi V.,Centro Of Ricerca Per La Patologia Vegetale | Tavazza M.,UTAGRI Centro Ricerche Casaccia
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2015

Plum pox virus (PPV) is the etiological agent of sharka, the most devastating and economically important viral disease affecting Prunus species. It is widespread in most stone fruits producing countries even though eradication and quarantine programs are in place. The development of resistant cultivars and rootstocks remains the most ecologically and economically suitable approach to achieve long-term control of sharka disease. However, the few PPV resistance genetic resources found in Prunus germplasm along with some intrinsic biological features of stone fruit trees pose limits for efficient and fast breeding programs. This review focuses on an array of biotechnological strategies and tools, which have been used, or may be exploited to confer PPV resistance. A considerable number of scientific studies clearly indicate that robust and predictable resistance can be achieved by transforming plant species with constructs encoding intron-spliced hairpin RNAs homologous to conserved regions of the PPV genome. In addition, we discuss how recent advances in our understanding of PPV biology can be profitably exploited to develop viral interference strategies. In particular, genetic manipulation of host genes by which PPV accomplishes its infection cycle already permits the creation of intragenic resistant plants. Finally, we review the emerging genome editing technologies based on ZFN, TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 engineered nucleases and how the knockout of host susceptibility genes will open up next generation of PPV resistant plants. © 2015 Hardi and Tavazza.

Hanssen I.M.,Scientia Terrae Research Institute | Mumford R.,Central Science Laboratory | Blystad D.-R.,Norwegian Institute for Agricultural And Environmental Research Bioforsk | Cortez I.,University of Tras os Montes e Alto Douro | And 12 more authors.
European Journal of Plant Pathology | Year: 2010

In this manuscript we provide evidence for the seed transmission of Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) in tomato. Fruit was harvested from a tomato crop artificially infected with both European and CH2 genotypes of PepMV and more than 100,000 seeds were extracted and cleaned using an enzymatic treatment without disinfection. Infection assays using indicator plants confirmed the presence of viable virus on the seeds. Seeds were distributed to ten different laboratories in three separate batches, where they were germinated and the young plants tested by ELISA. In total over 87,000 plants were tested and 23 positives detected, indicating an overall transmission rate of 0.026%. However, the observed seed transmission rates varied from 0.005% to 0.057%, depending on the seed batch used. Results clearly showed that PepMV can be transmitted from seeds contaminated with virus to seedlings, highlighting the risk of using seeds from PepMV-infected plants and the potential for seed transmission to contribute to the further spread of PepMV. © KNPV 2009.

Pochi D.,Crea Ing Unita Of Ricerca Per Lingegneria Agraria | Biocca M.,Crea Ing Unita Of Ricerca Per Lingegneria Agraria | Fanigliulo R.,Crea Ing Unita Of Ricerca Per Lingegneria Agraria | Gallo P.,Crea Ing Unita Of Ricerca Per Lingegneria Agraria | Pulcini P.,Centro Of Ricerca Per La Patologia Vegetale
Bulletin of Insectology | Year: 2015

Dressed seeds can release a certain amount of abrasion dust containing pesticides during sowing operations. Due to the high sensitivity of honey bees to the exposure of dust containing neonicotinoids insecticides, it is essential to ascertain the quantity of active ingredients (a.i.) released during sowing. The pneumatic precision drills play a key role in the quantity of dust emitted. We developed a prototypal device that, applied to conventional pneumatic drills, operates an effective reduction of abrasion dust emissions. The paper reports the amounts of active ingredient emitted during a field test carried out employing seed treated with the neonicotinoid insecticide thiacloprid. The trials aimed at assessing: the amount of thiacloprid dispersed by a conventional drill; the effectiveness of the prototype to reduce the emissions. The test results provided information on the level of a.i. deposition at ground and of a.i. concentration in the air both in the downwind area and into the sowed field. Basing on such results, it was provided an assessment of the potential exposure of honey bees flying in the area covered by the dust and of the potential amount of a.i. inhalable by the operator during sowing operations. The detected amounts of a.i. seem below the concentrations reported as dangerous for honey bees; however, they can be useful in the study of sub-lethal effects. © 2015, Universita degli Studi di Bologna, Department of Agroenvironmental Sciences and Technologies. All Rights Reserved.

Menesatti P.,Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura | Antonucci F.,Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura | Costa C.,Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura | Mandala C.,Centro Of Ricerca Per La Patologia Vegetale | And 2 more authors.
Vitis - Journal of Grapevine Research | Year: 2013

Aim of this study was to develop a forecasting model for Plasmopara viticola to achieve rational disease management and to reduce the use of copper treatments in organic farming. Starting from meteo-climatic, agronomic and phytopathological data a partial least squares discriminant analysis was developed. Three different strategies were compared: treatments according to the established organic agricultural practice (standard); treatments according to the predictive model and untreated control where no fungicides against downy mildew were applied. The modelling approach was divided into three phases: 1) model calibration; 2) field testing and 3) a posteriori model performance evaluation. The prediction was separately considered and modelled for: i) disease onset and ii) disease progress. The results for phase 1 show a percentage of correct classification equal to 91.8 % for the disease onset with 3 days elapsed between the prediction of first potential attack and disease onset and to 91.23 % for disease progress. In field testing phase the percentage of correct classification was equal to about 81 % for both the analysed years (2009 and 2010). In the phase 3 the percentages were quietly higher for the 2009. The number of fungicide applications on the partial least squares discriminant analysis model was almost half compared with standard schedule both in 2009 and 2010. Finally this approach showed the possibility to reduce fungicidal treatments and to avoid applying copper not essential for disease control representing a first step in the model validation.

La Torre A.,Centro Of Ricerca Per La Patologia Vegetale | Battaglia V.,Centro Of Ricerca Per La Patologia Vegetale | Caradonia F.,Centro Of Ricerca Per La Patologia Vegetale
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2016

Plant biostimulants are borderline substances that play an intermediate role between plant protection products and fertilisers. At present, such substances are regulated by national laws and have different names in the various European Member States. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview on the activity of these substances and on the national laws that regulate them, as they vary considerably from one Member State to another. The greatest difficulty in terms of the correct regulatory framework for these substances is related to their heterogeneity. This situation creates uncertainties for operators, control authorities and bodies that certify and control the organic production, and strongly limits the growth of these substances. This problem will be overcome with the amendment of Regulation EC No 2003/2003 which will shortly extend its scope to the category of plant biostimulants included within the fertilising additives. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

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