Studying Fruit Diseases and Pathogens and Developing Sustainable Control Measures

Feuerbrand

Swiss fruit is susceptible to diseases triggered by viruses, phytoplasmas and bacteria. Both the introduction of new pathogens and already established infectious agents cause losses in agricultural production. Plant protection measures used for the direct protection of crops can be associated with increased environmental pollution. The ‘Plant Protection Products’ National Action Plan thus aims to reduce the negative consequences of pesticides without associated losses in productivity and quality.

In the ‘Fruit Diseases (Phytoplasmas, Bacteria, Viruses)’ project, alternative plant protection strategies are developed for controlling the fire-blight pathogen (Erwinia amylovora) and bacterial canker (Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae / morsprunorum) as part of an integrated plant protection strategy. This involves the testing and optimal application of lower-risk plant protection products, as well as the researching of microbial antagonists of E. amylovora. In addition, modern sequencing technology is used to investigate the diversity of pathogens and possible changes in their chromosomal sequence in order to enable accurate identification as part of enforcement.

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