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EC-sponsored Research on Safety of Genetically Modified Organisms - A Review of Results
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image Impact of three selected biotechnological strategies for potato pathogen control on the indigenous soil microbiota

Background and objectives

The potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a staple crop of major economic importance. However, it is subject to a number of diseases caused by various micro-organisms and these diseases may result in major yield losses. Considerable amounts of pesticides are currently applied to potato crops to control pathogens, to prevent such losses. There is therefore considerable interest in the development of new strategies that do not involve pesticide use for the control of potato pathogens, such as the use of transgenic potato lines and avirulent mutants. This study aims to assess the impact of three non-chemical strategies (involving the use of transgenic lines of potato and avirulent mutants of Ralstonia solanacearum) on the natural populations of micro-organisms associated with potato, the genetic diversity of potato pathogens and the efficacy of these strategies.


Approach and methodology

Available methods will first be adapted and new methods developed for the ecological assessments. The microbiota generally associated with the potato in the field will then be analysed at two sites, one in northern and one in southern Europe. The efficacy against potato pathogens of the various available transgenic lines and hrp mutants will be evaluated in glasshouse trials with the aim of selecting a limited number of strategies, considered to be the most promising, for further assessment in glasshouse and field trials. In these subsequent trials, the ecological behaviour, in terms of survival, plant tissue colonisation and location, of marked R. solanacearum and hrp biological control agents will be studied. The efficacy of the various strategies for controlling Erwinia sp. will also be assessed.


Conclusions

This project should provide information about the efficacy of various non-chemical strategies for controlling potato pathogens, and the impact of these approaches on the soil microbes associated with the potato and the genetic diversity of potato pathogens.

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imageResearch project
 

Contract number
QLK3-2000-01598

Period
January 2001 – December 2003

Coordinator
J.D. van Elsas
Plant Research International (formerly IPO-DLO)
Wageningen (NL)

 
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Partners


K. Smalla
Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Braunschweig (DE)

A. Trigalet
INRA – CNRS
Castanet-Tolosan (FR)

M.M. Lopez
IVIA
Moncada (ES)

G. Saddler
CABI Bioscience
Egham (UK)

J. Jansson
Södertörns Högskola
Huddinge (SE)

A. Sessitsch
ARCS
Seibersdorf (AT)

 
 
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