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The EU has made five million euros available to researchers from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Serbia for the breeding of new resistant varieties. 21 partners, including viticultural institutes and wineries, want to jointly develop new disease-resistant grape varieties. In this way, the EU hopes to reduce the use of chemical pesticides.

Before starting the selection process, the scientists want to gain a better understanding of the molecular basis of susceptibility and resistance to pathogens in vines. In co-operation with winegrowers, they will then try to develop varieties that preserve the traditional characteristics of the wines and at the same time show resistance to diseases. At the end of the programme, decision-making aids for the selection of varieties and practical advice on how to optimise their cultivation methods will be published.

"We will ensure that these varieties are adapted to different local environmental and soil conditions," explained Komlan Avia, research officer at the INRAE Institute in Colmar (Alsace) and coordinator of the project called "GrapeBreed4IPM".

(ru / Vitisphere)

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