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Italy: partners wanted for Action against Monilinia rots

In the context of COST program (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) a group of researchers from different European Institutions involved in diagnosis, characterization, epidemiology and control studies of Monilinia rots intends to submit an Action, titled: ‘Integrated and biological approaches to control Monilinia fruit rots in the field and after harvest’. This 3 years-COST Action foreseen the coordination at European level of researches and demonstration activities in at least ten countries in order to set up and share the best control strategies against Monilinia spp. in Europe.

In conventional orchard management, Monilinia control depends on an integrated strategy based on preharvest fungicide spray programs, cultural practices, maintenance of proper conditions during storage and distribution; no chemical treatments are allowed on stone fruit, after harvest, in EU. In order to overcome the issues related to fungicides and their residues in fruit, new control strategies have to be investigated, overall for the organically grown crops, in rapid expansion, but prone to the losses because of the non-availability of adequate control strategies.

In this context the COST Action aims to develop a network of experts at European level to increase the knowledge of Monilinia spp. and build an IPM for the pathogen, robust and flexible for its use in EU, in according with European Directive on the sustainable use of Pesticides (2009/128/EC) and the guidelines of Horizon 2020 program.

In order to obtain support and approval by European Commission this Action needs the involvement of main players of fruit chain (from national and European growers associations to big retailers) that, aware of the topic importance, claim their instances in the Commission.

Those interested in supporting this COST Action should contact:
Prof. Marta Mari
CRIOF, DipSA, Università di Bologna
Via Gandolfi, 19, 40057 Cadriano, Bologna
Email: marta.mari@unibo.it

INFO: Monilinia spp. are fungal pathogens able to cause severe diseases on important fruit crops worldwide, with high economic relevance (>800-850 M€ /year) (www.monilinia.org). In Europe, at least six species of Monilinia are present. M. fructicola appeared for the first time in EU ten years ago, and it is still a quarantine pathogen (EPPO list A2). Recently, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health concluded that M. fructicola is a significant risk to plant health in all countries where this species has been detected.

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