ABOUT THE PROJECT
North and Centre Regions have the major National Kiwi (Actinidia sp.) production, which represents a significant agro-food chain of value in the North of Portugal. National orchards are suffering a pandemic disease caused by a very aggressive biovar of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa3) that dramatically decreased fruit production with negative economical impact. There is no current treatment to the disease, and orchards are mostly treated with Cu-compounds. We propose an INTEGRATED OPERATIONAL TOOL to manage this disease in Portuguese Orchards, using 4 dimensions of approach:
1) we'll collect, isolate and characterize the Regional Psa biovars (only the aggressive Psa3 is known) using EPPO protocols and Next Generation Sequence techniques, and develop a National Psa collection;
2) we'll characterize how innovative orchard management strategies (combining Mesh-covers with Irrigation and with Nutrition strategies) will increase the orchards fruit productivity, and will help plants to cope with the Psa3 infection;
3) we'll analyse the impact of Psa3 on male performance and on production of viable pollen and elucidate if the pollen is a vehicle to spread the bacteria; also the KiwiGreensun promotor will develop technical capacitation and autonomy in pollen analysis;
4) we'll develop environmentally friendly compounds against regional Psa3 (using promising antagonists formulations, and local bacterial strains that may act as antagonists) that will be tested in vitro, in phytotrons and then in orchards.
Combining this multidimensional Integrated Operational Tool will improve the management of kiwi Orchards and will increase their productivity, even in the presence of the bacteria. GesPsaKiwi has a multidisciplinary team from KiwiGreensun, UP and IPVC. It addresses multiple ENEI/EREI priorities, and also is engaged in putting at the service of producers some cutting edge techniques and knowhow (eg NGS) empowering the technological capacity of this sector.