Futureco Bioscience is part of the team involved in the PALVIP project (Alternative Protection of the Interregional Vegetable Productions of the Pyrenees), a cross-border investigation and experimentation project Catalonia - Roussillon, to develop biocontrol products adapted to Mediterranean crops. PALVIP associates universities and technical structures such as The Chamber of Agriculture of the Eastern Pyrenees (CAEP), the Catalan Institute of Vineyard and Wine (INCAVI), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), the University of Girona (UdG), the University of Perpignan Via Domitia (UPVD) and Futureco Bioscience.
The purposes of the PALVIP project are to characterize the biological control products adapted to the Mediterranean crops such as wine, fruits and vegetables (1); to collect and disseminate information to guide farmers on the use of these products (2), and to promote the development of the biocontrol industry and sustainable agriculture (3).
The project is co-financed at 65% by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra Program (POCTEFA 2014-2020), whose aim is to reinforce the economic and social integration of the border area Spain-France-Andorra. Its support focuses on the development of cross-border economic, social and environmental activities through joint strategies in favour of sustainable territorial development between French and Spanish governments, that have decided to promote the market for biological control products, due to the growing interest in the use of these products.
In 2016, the market of agrobiological products for plant protection grew a 15%. This reveals that both consumers and farmers support reducing the use of conventional pesticides, in favour of the use of biopesticides, as alternative agricultural inputs to conventional agrochemicals. To boost the market, it is essential to provide references on the technical effectiveness and eco-toxicity of these products. Despite data is needed for the European registration for their commercialization, there is not enough public information, and results of trials that prove its effectiveness and innocuousness, are reserved in the annexes of the registrations.
The PALVIP team has selected biopesticides based on microorganisms and botanical extracts to test their effectiveness through field trials (CAEP, INCAVI), their environmental impact (UPVD, UdG and Futureco Bioscience) and their effect on plants (UdG and UAB). These trials will be carried out in vine against mildew, powdery mildew and Botrytis; peach against brown rot; apricot tree against the drying of flowers caused by Monilia laxa; cherry against flies and in horticultural fields against weeds.
The impact of the whole treatment on the quality of the wine as also the environmental impact of the biological control products will be investigated, using an innovative approach based on transcriptomics, metabolomics (LC-MS), and environmental metabolic footprint (EMC). These techniques allow the analysis of the molecular interactions between components of complex mixtures of soils, leaves and fruits, the gene expression of proteins and hormones linked to the metabolism or the stress response of plants, and provide information on the residues of the products, the formation of by-products and the effect on biodiversity.