Twenty five members of the project got together in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in the third consortium meeting of TROPICSAFE. Organized by Professor Marina Dermastia from the National Institute of Biology, the Slovenian partner of the project, the meeting took place after the 5th “bois noir” Workshop. During the two-days of discussions led by the coordinator Assunta Bertaccini, from the University of Bologna (Italy), decisions were taken in order to define the next steps for the coming 12 months of the project.
The meeting started with analysis of the results of the surveys carried out to identify the pathogens that are present in the target crops. Partners were informed about lethal yellowing (LY) in palms in Cuba, Ghana, Jamaica, Mexico, and Mozambique; huanglongbing (HLB) in citrus in Cuba, South Africa, Guadeloupe, Chile and Spain; as well as yellows in grapevine (GY) in South Africa, Chile, Italy and Spain.
Other relevant challenges were addressed, such as the study on the insect vectors and alternative host plants of these pathogens, the main tasks that need to be performed for the studies of the disease epidemiological cycles, and protocols for the IPM strategies to be applied in some countries, such as Cuba, Guadeloupe, Spain and South Africa. The plans for the new molecular diagnostic tools that are currently in preparation were also discussed.
Additionally, the meeting focused on the dissemination, communication and exploitation activities. A draft of the exploitation plan on the potential results of the project was presented. The main dissemination materials currently being produced, such as issue nº2 of the TROPICSAFE newsletter, the innovation factsheets, and the first communication campaign were explained.
The session ended with the plan for the training activity in Mexico that will take place in April 2019.
A member of the TROPICSAFE Stakeholder Advisory Board, Giovanni d’Alfonso Del Sordo from Cantine d’Alfonso del Sordo (Italy), attended the meeting in order to provide his opinions as a stakeholder. New members of this board will be invited to the next meeting in Valencia, Spain in September 2019. Their contribution is expected to be very useful and will guarantee the multi-actor approach of the project.
The fourth consortium meeting will take place in September 2019 in Valencia (Spain), following the 4th International Phytoplasmology Working Group (IPWG) Meeting, in which TROPICSAFE will be presented and its activities disseminated.