Development of methodological tools to better understand biocontrol products for the control of tomato grey mold (ABA PIC project, 2021-2022)
Abstract: Access to the market of biocontrol products raised new questions, which need to be
solved to allow the development and deployment of these solutions. In this context, the French « Plan de Relance » gave the opportunity to French technical institutes, coordinated by ACTA, to improve their methodological tools with the project ABA PIC (Acceleration of Biocontrol and Agro-equipment for Integrated Crop Protection), to gain skills and be able to better support actors of the agroecological transition. Vegenov worked on the pathosystem Botrytis/Tomato, as it is well controlled by several biocontrol agents (BCA). We worked on the development of methods for monitoring pathogenic microorganisms (i. e., spore trapping) or BCA (i. e., Bacillus and Trichoderma strains) and distinguish viable and non-viable micro-organisms, using molecular tools. These methods are key to better understand the survival and the kinetic of colonization of both pathogenic and biocontrol microorganisms. In parallel, factors that may condition the efficacy of BCA and survival of microorganisms were tested simulating different abiotic stresses (UV, leaching, temperature, etc.), evaluating the combined use of other phytosanitary treatments (compatibility between products) or the ability of biocontrol products to stimulate plant defense using different varieties. Results of Vegenov within this project will be presented during the IOBC 2023 event.