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Fruit Attraction, Madrid

Europe: The fight against Sharka

The final meeting of the Mars (Marker Assisted Resistance to Sharka) project, co-financed by the EU within the 7th Framework Programme, will take place on 29 October, during Madrid's Fruit Attraction.

The Mars project has lasted two years, involving European research institutions and labs for the assisted selection of markers to obtain apricot cultivars resistant to the Plum pox virus (PPV, Sharka virus).

French institute INRA has coordinated the project with the support of other research centres and SMEs located in Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Turkey.

Sharka is the most devastating viral disease for the European Prunus genre - over €10 million have been invested in the fight against it over the past 30 years.

In order to provide operators with suitable tools to manage this critical situation, the EU co-financed the "7PQ SharCo" project, which led to the development of PPV-resistant genetic material, new guidelines and quick alarm systems. 

MARS' objective is to strengthen the apricot cultivars resistant to Sharka and provide SMEs with good practices for an assisted selection. This approach will help resistant material at a European level.

The meeting will be held at 10 am in room 117. After a general greeting by Véronique Decroocq (INRA), professor Daniele Bassi from the University of Milan will talk about "Marker Assisted Selection: the legacy of the 7PQ SharCo Project", while Fabienne Moreau (ADNid) and Manuel Rubio (CEBAS-CSIC) will present the results of the Mars project.

For further information:
Marco Foschini

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