Stimulators of vitality are aimed to reinforce plant resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses and to optimize their growth and development. They include plant resistance inducers (PRIs) and biostimulators, and are proposed as alternatives or supplements to the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers respectively. They are mainly of natural origin and are seriously intended to reduce synthetic agricultural inputs, as planned by the Ecophyto program. However, there is a lack of methods to screen products of interest in laboratory and of decision-making tools to help their positioning and to measure their effects. The LabCom ESTIM intends to mobilize four research teams of IRHS (Institute of Research in Horticulture and Seeds of Angers) and field experimenters of the APL (AREXHOR Pays de Loire), company around this question. Diversified technologies will be tested in this respect (biosensors, molecular patterns, immuno-detection, hyperspectral imaging, metabarcoding of associated flora). They are actually under study in the four research teams and some of them are already dedicated to the screening of PRIs (qPFD, immunoassays). The project ESTIM schedules to adapt these technologies i) for the measurement of the effect of stimulators and ii) for the characterization of the level of plant receptivity to such treatments, considering the plant physiological status. These technologies will be thought in order to screen new candidates in laboratory and understand the best conditions to use them, taking into account the physiological state and phenologic stage of the plant, but also to be used in the field as tools to help treatment decisions and verify their effects (i.e. immunostrips, on-board sensors, meta-barcoding). The involvement of APL will ensure the strong link of the project with the socio-economic environment. APL will indeed i) supply the candidate products, ii) choose the plant targets (grapevine as a perennial crop, tomato as an herbaceous one), and iii) tests the new technologies in full-scale field tests. The direction of the LabCom ESTIM will be a triumvirate made up of an assistant professor specialized in fundamental questions regarding plant physiology and pathology, a research scientist specialized in applied research in the biocontrol area and the director of APL whose major objective is the development of innovative crop management sequences, limiting synthetic inputs and economically viable. This tripartite direction will guarantee the research-to-development continuum, with balanced distribution of fundings and workforce, and a cost-benefice analysis at each step and for each technology. The direction will be assisted by a steering committee, gathering researchers in charge of each technology, and by a strategic committee for research development, enlarged to representatives of RFI (integrative approaches in research-training-innovation) regional project on plant, input suppliers and agricultural producers. The aim of the LabCom ESTIM is to get within the three years of the duration of the project a proof of concept on the technologies on the chosen plant species, and to become afterwards a key player in the elaboration of R&D projects in the area of plant stimulators on various species. The involvement of every partner of the project in the training of students and agricultural workers will ensure the diffusion of results and the adoption of plant stimulators in agricultural practices.
Monsieur Philippe GRAPPIN (Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences)
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.
UMR1345 Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences
Help of the ANR 300,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2016 - 36 Months