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Sustainable rules for managing virus and aphid evolution through host plant resistance – VirAphid

Submission summary

Genetic resistance to pests and pathogens in plants is an essential component of sustainable food production. Resistance genes constitute generally efficient methods to control plant bioaggressors and allow drastic reductions of pesticide use, thus satisfying the requests of the legal authorities, the growers and the consumers. The major limitations of genetic resistances reside in the possible adaptation of the targeted pests and pathogens (resistance breakdowns are frequent) and in the rarity of resistance genes with strong effects (major genes) among genetic resources. To tackle these issues, we need (i) new methods of plant breeding integrating resistance durability upstream, (ii) new strategies to optimize the durable management of the resistance of the presently-available varieties and (iii) to explore the potentialities of minor-effect resistance genes (QTLs) which are more widespread among genetic resources.
We propose to explore these innovative prospects in the context of vegetable crops and their aphid and aphid-transmitted virus enemies, which induce severe production and quality losses. Our objectives are 1/ to assess the impact of Aphis gossypii (melon aphid) resistance combinations on the dynamics and genetic structure of A. gossypii populations, 2/ to assess the impact of A. gossypii resistance combinations on aphid-borne virus populations (CMV, PVY, ZYMV, WMV, CABYV), 3/ to assess the impact of virus (CMV and PVY) resistance combinations on virus populations and 4/ to define durable management strategies of aphid and virus resistances use.
Field and laboratory experiments will be carry out to investigate the biological processes involved in the adaptation of these bioaggressors to different plant resistance combinations (i.e. combinations of major genes and QTLs) at different scales (from the individual aphid and virus genomes to the crop production basin). Our results concerning biological processes of adaptation of aphid and virus populations to resistances will be integrated into generic mathematical models of resistance breakdown by bioaggressors; these models will allow exploring the efficiency of diverse strategies in terms of durability.
The expected results are i/ the possibility and rate of adaptation of aphids and viruses faced to monogenic or polygenic resistances, ii/ the mechanisms involved in aphids and viruses adaptation to monogenic or polygenic resistances, iii/ the evaluation of potential gain that could be obtained by combining resistance genes towards virus iv/ the evaluation of potential gain that could be obtained by combining resistance genes towards aphids and, v/ the evaluation of potential gain that could be obtained by combining resistance genes towards virus and aphids. Results should be transferred to the scientific community through at least 15 articles.
We also expect to deliver “ready-to-use” products for plant breeders and farmers. These products will consist in decision rules for combining resistance genes in a given cultivar delivered to plant breeders and crop protection strategies for deploying in space and time a set of cultivars over a production area delivered to farmers. Both ones will be innovative as, beside the usual breeding criteria (resistance efficiency and spectrum of action), they will take into account the bioaggressor evolution to achieve a higher sustainability of agricultural systems. We plan to transfer these products to the private sector, first by communicating in targeted EUCARPIA meetings and secondly by answering to bids from CTPS for example to develop side-projects with seed companies or professional structures.
This VirAphid project gathers 17 researchers belonging to 4 laboratories: UR Genetic improvement of fruits and vegetables (INRA), UR Plant Pathology (INRA), Centre for Biology and Management of Populations (CBGP) (UMR-INRA, IRD, CIRAD, Montpellier SupAgro), UR Biostatistics and Spatial Processes (INRA).

Project coordination

Nathalie BOISSOT (INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE- CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON) – nathalie.boissot@avignon.inra.fr

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

GAFL INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE- CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON
INRA- Pathologie INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE- CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON
CBGP INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - CENTRE DE MONTPELLIER
INRA - BioSp INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE- CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON

Help of the ANR 859,986 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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