Insect-borne prokaryote-associated diseases are seriously affecting the trade and import of agricultural products and materials worldwide. Lethal yellowing in palms and yellows in grapevines, due to the presence of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ species, and huanglongbing in citrus due to ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ species, are severe infectious diseases that have been recently described, and for their effective, efficient and sustainable management there is the need to fill important knowledge gaps.

In order to increase and strengthen the control strategies available, the Tropicsafe project addressed these diseases focusing on tropical and subtropical areas in nine different regions of Africa, America, Caribbean and Europe.

Twenty–two partners from twelve different countries involved

Tropicsafe project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 727459. The project aimed to provide innovative tools and solutions to manage and reduce the impact of these diseases due to insect-transmitted bacteria that are affecting and threatening these and other tropical and subtropical agricultural relevant species. A consortium of 22 partners tackled all these issues, aiming to increase and strengthen the control strategies available. A Stakeholders Advisor Board (SAB), with multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder participation, acted as a consulting and advisory board to suggest and impact on the implementation of important parts of the project and to provide evaluation of outputs.

TROPICSAFE specific objectives were the following:


Develop rapid and reliable methods for detecting pathogens and identifying insect vectors to reduce cost and environmental impact of phytosanitary control measures (field-validated protocols for early, cheap and specific pathogen detection)


Evaluate the socio-economic sustainability and feasibility of the new technologies and Integrated Pest Management strategies (IPM) (scale-up of the demonstration activities, field trials: comparison before and after the innovation introduction, costs estimation related to the adoption of the new practices, study of distributive effects on different social classes)

Work Plan