Fondazione Edmund Mach(FEM)

Fondazione Edmund Mach-Research and Innovation Centre- Michele allAdige-Italy

Fondazione Edmund Mach, Research and Innovation Centre, Michele all'Adige, Italy

Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) is a public institute ( located in one of the major European apple and grape growing areas (Trentino). FEM has ap- proximately 750 staff members and has long history and strong experiences in promoting IPM guidelines, in developing biocontrol alternatives to pests and patho- gens. FEM has a special focus on sustain- able agriculture, food safety and quality in line with European protection policies and organic agriculture. FEM combines fun- damental research programs in agriculture, applied research activities, extension serv- ices and a qualified technical and profes- sional high school.

FEM combines fundamental research programs in agriculture, applied research activities, extension services and a qualified technical high school.

The Research and Innovation Centre ( within FEM is covering the research topics in agriculture, food tech- nology, plant genetics, plant protection, bioinformatics and environment, with spe- cial focus on locally relevant crops such as:

grapevine, apple, berries (blueberry and strawberry) and some horticultural crops.

The Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems and Bioresources department (coordinated by Ilaria Pertot) has focused on applied and basic researches to address the challenge of sustainable development of agro-ecosystems and to reduce human impacts on water and forest bioresources. The research group has strong experience in the development of sustainable crop protection strategies (including biocontrol tools, decision support systems), and in the molecular characterization of mechanisms responsible for plant-microbe communication and of dynamics of natural beneficial and/ or pathogenic microbial populations of soils and plant tissues.

Ilaria Pertot convenes the IOBC-WPRS working group “Biological control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens” and recently organized the international meeting “Future IPM in Europe” ( I. Pertot is currently involved in several projects on sustainable plant protection. Main projects include the following: “Pesticide Use-and-risk Reduc- tion in European farming systems with Integrated Pest Management” (PURE; and “Innovative bio-based pesticides to minimize chemical residue risk on food” (INNOVA).

Current focus of the research is on the characterization of efficacy, persistence and mechanisms of action of novel potential copper alternatives based on the use of beneficial microorganisms (Trichoderma spp. and Lysobacter spp.), plant metabolites and protein extracts against crop diseases caused by oomycetes. The final goal is to improve the efficacy of biocontrol agents by combining different mechanisms of action (antibiosis, parasitism and induction of plant resistance) and by developing efficient formulation.

Within CO-FREE Oscar Giovannini is involved in the development of sage extracts and in field trials of copper alternatives in grapevine. Michele Perazzolli and Gerardo Puopolo are involved in the molecular and functional characterization of the action mechanisms of microbial- and protein-based copper alternatives. G. Puopolo is also involved in the development of a new biofungicide based on a specific strain of Lysobacter.

Ilaria Pertot