WP2: Designing optimized vineyard practices to reduce pesticides


The objectives of WP2 are:

  1. To test performances in the medium-term of vineyards planted with resistant varieties
  2. To decrease pesticide use at no detriment of vineyard profitability through sanitation techniques as well as agronomically-driven improvements in cluster and berry morphology
  3. To improve accuracy, robustness and reliability of disease models used to predict infection events in the vineyard and to assist spray savings by a non-calendar-based approach.


4 different working axes will be developped inside that WP. The first one will concern natural resistance to fungal disease. Most of the V. vinifera varieties are fully susceptible to key pathogens, like E. necator and P. viticola responsible for powdery and downy mildews respectively. However, other Vitis species, which that have co-evolved with these pathogens, display moderate to high levels of resistance and were used as resistant parents in breeding programs. Concurrent evaluation of level of resistance and overall vine performance of such genotypes is a truly needed task. Moreover, little is known about the ability of pathogens to overcome such resistances and an assessment of the potential of durability of resistance is needed to assist the breeding of durable resistance and the design of sustainable management of these resistant varieties. The second working axe will involve indirect plant resistance. Loose clusters show much less susceptibility to cluster rot diseases due to better within-cluster air circulation and diminished skin and lesions contacts between adjacent berries. Thus, economically sustainable canopy management practices improving cluster and berry morphology need to be developed and their effectiveness across season variability assessed. The third working axe will deal with disease modelling. Several epidemiological models based on relationships disease and weather have been successfully developed and validated which provide early warning for infection periods for key diseases like powdery and downy mildews. However, the modelling approach needs strengthening to account for other diseases, a wider range of susceptible and resistant genotypes, and more robust vine- development vs. host cycle interactions. The last part of the WP2 will refer to innovative pest control techniques and tools to limit or eliminate the use of chemical fungicides. Studied strategies will be based on Ampelomyces a Bio Control Agents (BCA) which acts as natural intracellular mycoparasites of a large number of powdery mildew species worldwide

Work Package Leader

Pr. Stefano Poni
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Via Emilia Parmense 84
29121 Piacenza

Other partners involved


European Union
Innovine is a European collaborative project that has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement n° 311775.
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