PATAFEST project has been kicked-off with a first meeting last week!

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This new Horizon Europe project, coordinated by FUNDITEC, will involve the participation of 18 partners from 9 countries seeking to protect potato plants against pests spreading by means of resistance genes characterization, pre-harvest innovative treatments, and post-harvest sustainable solutions.

The objectives are:

1) Characterize at molecular level the ecological pest spread pathway and identify potato disease resistance varieties against Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) and postharvest pathogens as F. sambucinum, C. coccodes, H. solani.
2) Provide effective preharvest plant and soil treatments against CLso vector Bactericera cockerelli (BC) and soil-borne pathogens combined with other cutting-edge digital technologies such as image analysis tools (mobile app) and artificial intelligence predictive models.
3) Develop postharvest technologies (biocontrol coating solution, controlled atmosphere storage and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) sensors) to control the incidence of soil pathogens and maintain the quality of potato tubers stored.
4) All these three strategies and technologies will be incorporated into an integrated pest management (IPM) to validate their performance in a country-specific relevant environments (TRL5) in Germany, France, Spain and UK as representatives of main potato producers. In addition, Ecuador will host field trials against CLso and its vector BC.
5) PATAFEST will ensure a long-term strategy for tackling future potato pest threats by carrying out strong dissemination, communication and exploitation plan, with an overarching multi-actor approach and citizen of science activities.

FUNDITEC, ANECOOP S. COOP, KNEIA SL, AINIA, NEIKER BRTA, Europatat – the European Potato Trade Association, Chemia S.p.A., Cranfield University, IRIS Technology Solutions, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Terréa, Udapa Sociedad Cooperativa, Palacký University in Olomouc, Università di Bologna, Hans Willi Böhmer Verpackung und Vertrieb GmbH & Co.KG, ECSA – European Citizen Science Association, ALBERT BARTLETT, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias.