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Novel Pesticides for a Sustainable Agriculture

Objective

Members of the oomycete phylum represent highly problematic crop pathogens and a threat for global food security. For instance, P. infestans is the agent of potato late blight, and P. viticola of grapevine downy mildew. Oomycete infections are currently controlled by frequent applications of copper-based compounds, but the massive use of these compounds leads to pollution, residual toxicity and adverse effects on human health. The discovery of innocuous and reliable alternatives to traditional inorganic fungicides remains challenging and has been set as a high priority by EU and other countries. NoPest aims to develop an environmentally friendly approach for crop protection as an alternative to conventional chemical pesticides. The strategy, inspired by medical and pharmaceutical research, relies on peptide aptamers to counteract oomycetes infections by i) identifying small peptides (linear/cyclic peptide aptamers) that inhibit vital enzymes involved in oomycete cell wall formation and cell stability; ii) optimizing aptamer efficiency through peptidomimetics designed for field applications; iii) searching, using chemo-informatics approaches, for non-peptide small molecules that mimic the activity of aptamers.
These objectives will be addressed by selecting peptide aptamers from combinatorial libraries, based on their affinity and specificity for selected protein targets. Key benefits will be i) low probability to select resistant oomycete strains and no risk of co-selection of bacteria resistant to heavy metals; ii) no impact on animal and human health; iii) low environmental impact, as the approach is based on peptides that consist of natural amino-acids; iv) potential to develop additional products that confer antimicrobial resistance to any crop pathogen. Furthermore, in order to make the new molecules competitive in the pesticide market, precision farming non-invasive sensing tools will be developed, leading to reduced pesticide usage for field treatments.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/environmental sciences/pollution
  • /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/food and beverages/food safety
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pharmacology and pharmacy/drug resistance/antibiotic resistance
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins/enzymes
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/sustainable agriculture

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO
Address
Via Festa Del Perdono 7
20122 Milano
Italy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 858 701,25

Participants (6)

KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 856 000
Address
Brinellvagen 8
100 44 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
BAR ILAN UNIVERSITY
Israel
EU contribution
€ 214 250
Address
Bar Ilan University Campus
52900 Ramat Gan
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITE PARIS-SUD

Participation ended

France
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Rue Georges Clemenceau 15
91405 Orsay Cedex
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITE PARIS-SACLAY
France
EU contribution
€ 414 762,50
Address
Immeuble Technologique Entree B Rte De L Orme Aux Merisiers
91190 Saint Aubin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SIPCAM OXON SPA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 460 625
Address
Via Carroccio 8
20123 Milano
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSIDAD DE LA RIOJA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 432 481,25
Address
Avenida De La Paz 93
26006 La Rioja
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments