Phytoplasma cultivation: the key point for the development of pathogen detection tools

Phytoplasma cultivation is part of the work to be made in the TROPICSAFE project. It is a key point for the development of pathogen detection tools and for further improvement of knowledge of phytoplasma involvement in plant diseases.

Nicoletta Contaldo, from the TROPICSAFE partner Alma Mater Studorium (University of Bologna), shares a brief introduction of the topic and the main practical steps to be followed in the laboratory to:

  • set up and carry out the isolation
  • and cultivation of phytoplasmas in liquid and solid media from the different plant sources.

Efficient detection tools are needed for pathogens that affect grapevine, citrus, and coconut palm, an unsolved problem especially in the tropical and subtropical geographic areas where we can find the most devastating diseases.

The phytoplasma cultivation is one of the tasks of the TROPICSAFE project, framed in the 4th work package and focused on the cost and environmental impact reduction of phytosanitary control measures, through the development of rapid and reliable innovative detection methods for pathogens.

Develop advanced Integrated Pest Management and New Pest Management strategies is one of the main objectives of the TROPICSAFE project to reduce the environmental impact of plant protection usually applied when these diseases appear. Prevent the selected pathogens and pests from entering the UE and contain them to prevent spread in countries already infected is also something pursued. Knowledge about germplasm susceptibility/resistance characteristics will be also improved.