Since 1986 the European Commission has been running a permanent evaluation mechanism on European forest conditions that led to conclude that cork oak trees in Portugal and Spain have suffered a fast degradation process with serious repercussions on the ecosystem (desertification), the economy (dependent industries) and society (dependent populations). These countries control 80% of the world cork production. Cork stopper is the most important cork end product. Problems arising with oak forest endanger both cork and wine industries. Dieback a disease caused by the fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi, is associated with the decline ofQuercus sober forest, together with drought it may be a major predisposition factoring Iberian oak decline. It is a priority to find controlling agents before futherspread of the disease. In vitro models will be used to study the interaction between bio pesticides and P.cinnamomi with and without the oak tree, adding complexity to the model until field tests. Our goal is to find an effective biopesticide, non-producer of cork taint compounds, to cure and control dieback on Quercus sober forests.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
4535 Lourosa/ Mozelos Murado