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Exploiting the multifunctional potential of belowground biodiversity in horticultural farming


Project Flyer

One project flyer will be prepared in 9 languages (EN, D, IT, PL, SL, F, ES, NL, DK), with the aim of attracting attention of stakeholders potentially interested in the project topics

Press releases

At least 10 press releases with the aim of attracting attention of stakeholders potentially interested in the project topics, as well as to inform about the project and key results, targeting a wide audience will be delivered every 6 months since M6 until M54 (M6, M12, M18, M24, M30, M36, M42, M48, M54). Besides making them available on the project website, they will be distributed at exhibitions and events and via the media mentioned in Task 6.1.

Opening project conference

At the beginning of the project, an opening event open to different stakeholders will be organized.

Project newsletters

An electronic project newsletter will be edited and sent (twice a year M6, M12, M18, M24, M30, M36, M42, M48, M54) since M6 to report the development of the project to a wider audience (media, policy makers, stakeholders) and will also contribute to creating a EXCALIBUR community.

Social media accounts

Creation and management of dedicated social media account (twitter, Instagram and Facebook).

Project logo

A project logo will be defined and provided within the first month of the project.

Project website

Development of a dedicated multilanguage website, to reach a wider audience at regional level, and to be updated on a regular basis to present the state-of-the-art of the project ; rit will last up to 5 years after project’s end.

Common guidelines for analytical methods

Common guidelines for analytical methods will be defined and shared among all the partners. An appropriate definition of the protocol, the necessary consumables and a recognition of the measures required by the protocols will be provided and shared among all the partners involved in the project. This step is necessary to provide standardization of protocols among partners for laboratory investigations, allowing to apply the same methodologies.

First annual meeting and its minutes

A brief report including the activities and the minutes of the first annual meeting of the project will be provided.

Common guidelines for sampling methods

Common guidelines for sampling methods will be defined and shared among all the partners. An appropriate definition of the sampling methods is necessary: timing, number of samples per crop/site, technical replicates. A common guideline for sampling methodologies will be also developed for the different analyses. All partners will host field trials and will be responsible for sampling plants and soils and preparing samples for subsequent analysis. In all field trials an untreated control will be used to compare treatment effects.

List of trials for different crops, spanning several cropping systems and conditions

A list of the trials selected and defined in relation to the characteristics of the soil, the crop, the agronomic practices to be addressed (i.e. soil management in case of plant nutrition or protection against soil-borne pests/pathogens; canopy management in case of plant protection from pathogens/pests and abiotic factors) will be provided. In particular, the different following experimental factors will be specified: • Soil management (organic vs. Conventional/integrated) – including the following treatments: fertilization (organic/inorganic), tillage (reduced/intensive), cover crops/mulching (yes/no), pre-planting inoculation (yes/no), soil-borne pathogens management (yes/no); • Canopy management – including the following treatments : foliar/soil application of biofertilizers/biopesticides, frost protection (yes/no); • Microbial-based products – including the following treatments : formulations (consortia/vs single strain), complex formulations (microbial+plant biostimulants vs single product). The numbers of the treatments are 5-6 and may change in dependence of the results in WP2 and will also differ between the sites. In fact, due to the multitude of treatments (including their necessary controls) and the different characteristics/needs of the crops (trees/vegetables) as well as of their production system (open field or glasshouse), ompeti not be possible to test all bio-inocula at each trial. Therefore, different trials will select a set of bio-inocula depending on the targeted objective. However, special attention will be given on innovative formulations developed by WP2, soil treatments and their combination under different sites/conditions.

Data Management Plan

A first version of the Data Management Plan (DMP) will be setup at the start of the project (M6) to define common guidelines for data sharing in the frame of the Open Research Data. Researchers will be encouraged to publish the data used to generate scientific papers in public repositories such as OpenAIRE (

Searching for OpenAIRE data...


Izsledki raziskav nematicidnih bakterij vrste Bacillus firmus in ozko sorodnih sevov Bacillus sp. na zdravje rastlin

Author(s): Nik Susič; Saša Širca; Barbara Gerič Stare
Published in: 2020
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4262073

Microbiome Management by Biological and Chemical Treatments in Maize Is Linked to Plant Health

Author(s): Peter Kusstatscher, Wisnu Adi Wicaksono, Dhivya P. Thenappan, Eveline Adam, Henry Müller, Gabriele Berg
Published in: Microorganisms, Issue 8/10, 2020, Page(s) 1506, ISSN 2076-2607
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms8101506

Microbiome approaches provide the key to biologically control postharvest pathogens and storability of fruits and vegetables

Author(s): Peter Kusstatscher, Tomislav Cernava, Ahmed Abdelfattah, Jarishma Gokul, Lise Korsten, Gabriele Berg
Published in: FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 2020, ISSN 0168-6496
DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiaa119

Trichomes form genotype-specific microbial hotspots in the phyllosphere of tomato

Author(s): Peter Kusstatscher, Wisnu Adi Wicaksono, Alessandro Bergna, Tomislav Cernava, Nick Bergau, Alain Tissier, Bettina Hause, Gabriele Berg
Published in: Environmental Microbiome, Issue 15/1, 2020, ISSN 2524-6372
DOI: 10.1186/s40793-020-00364-9

Field Exploitation of Multiple Functions of Beneficial Microorganisms for Plant Nutrition and Protection: Real Possibility or Just a Hope?

Author(s): Jolanta Kowalska, Józef Tyburski, Kinga Matysiak, Bartosz Tylkowski, Eligio Malusá
Published in: Frontiers in Microbiology, Issue 11, 2020, ISSN 1664-302X
DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01904

Aspegillus terreus: From Soil to Industry and Back

Author(s): Maria Vassileva, Eligio Malusá, Bettina Eichler-Löbermann, Nikolay Vassilev
Published in: Microorganisms, Issue 8/11, 2020, Page(s) 1655, ISSN 2076-2607
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms8111655

Whole Genome Sequencing and Comparative Genomics of Two Nematicidal Bacillus Strains Reveals a Wide Range of Possible Virulence Factors

Author(s): Nik Susič, Sandra Janežič, Maja Rupnik, Barbara Gerič Stare
Published in: "G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics", Issue 10/3, 2020, Page(s) 881-890, ISSN 2160-1836
DOI: 10.1534/g3.119.400716

Towards Better Understanding of the Interactions and Efficient Application of Plant Beneficial Prebiotics, Probiotics, Postbiotics and Synbiotics

Author(s): Maria Vassileva, Elena Flor-Peregrin, Eligio Malusá, Nikolay Vassilev
Published in: Frontiers in Plant Science, Issue 11, 2020, ISSN 1664-462X
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2020.01068

Bioaugmentation of Entomopathogenic Fungi for Sustainable Agriotes Larvae (Wireworms) Management in Maize

Author(s): Jaka Razinger; Eva Praprotnik; Hans-Josef Schroers
Published in: Plant Pathogen Interactions, 2020, ISSN 1664-462X
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2020.535005