Fire blight is a very contagious fruit (apple and pear) cultivation disease causing a yearly damage in the European Community of approximately 300.000.000. The bacterium Erwinia amylovora causes fire blight. To date no effective way to control and fight fire blight is available. The currently used pesticides consist of environmentally harmful (bio-) chemicals like Streptomycin. Streptomycin is also used as a antibiotic against lung-tuberculosis for humans. The European Community is expected to ban the use of Streptomycin against fire blight because of the risk of the occurrence of immunity.
SME-companies ECOstyle (the Netherlands), Dr. Schaette (Germany) and New biotechnic (Spain) have teamed up for a project with the objective to develop a sustainable biological pesticide against fire blight. A pre-screening by University of Konstanz, one of the RTD-performers, has shown that the bacterium species Bacillus subtilis has the antagonistic potential to be used effectively against fire blight.
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Funding SchemeCooperative - SMEs-Co-operative research contracts