For the discovery of new biopesticides A European INTERREG project 4 cross-border regions 5 projects I’ve heard about your research. It seems
that you plan to develop biopesticides as effective as pesticides. I wanted to know if it was really possible. Yes, it is possible. We have been working
for many years on biomolecules called lipopeptides, which are produced
by a Bacillus Subtilis bacteria, which is itself used as a biopesticide. Lipopeptides are able to inhibit
growth of fungi that are responsible for root rot, seed rod, rot of
fruits and vegetables for example. They act through two modes of action.
First, inhibiting the growth of the fungus, Then, the implementation of a mechanism
of resistance in plants. As part of the Bioscreen project, we put
in place a technological platform which will bring together all the techniques
necessary to highlight new molecules with this dual activity. I wanted to know if these products are going to be
effective in my field, and if they will act on all diseases? As part of the BIOPROTECT project,
we are carrying out a series of experiments in greenhouses and fields. The objective is to ensure the effectiveness
of new products for the farmer, as is the case here in a trial against wheat septoria. We are testing the activity of
biopesticides already on the market, as well as new biofungicides that have been
developed as part of the project, on many crops such as wheat but also on fruits and vegetables,
as you can see. Our objective is to offer
an organic solution to our farmers. And at what rate should these products be applied? Will we have to treat every day? The BIOPROD project monitors
the biodegradability and the formulation that will allow a good dispersion of the product and sufficient persistence in the environment. Through the BIOSENS project,
a sensor is being developed to detect the presence of the disease
on the plant or in the field, as well as the relevance of a treatment. We also want to use this sensor to check the presence of the product
on the plant after a few days. Are these products less dangerous
for me and my future child? We have selected molecules that are
a lot less ecotoxic i.e. toxicity to the environment than synthetic pesticides. And as part of the Bioprod project, we will
continue to study in detail the ecotoxicity of the new molecules that we have selected. I am very interested in this subject. How can I get information
and do research? There is a communication component
planned as part of the project, who will inform farmers
and the general public of the evolution of our research
through information sessions and of course students
and doctoral students are welcome to do a final project or a doctoral thesis. Your project sounds very interesting, but
I have one more question. From a financial point of view,
is your production mode as viable as a more
conventional production mode? It is indeed a great challenge and
as part of the Bioprod project, the researchers are trying to optimize
the production processes of these lipopeptides. They do it in bioreactors like this one, in order to reduce the production cost
as much as possible. Our aim is to reduce the price of new biopesticides as much as possible
and make them accessible to the widest possible audience. It’s really very exciting for us
to work on a research theme that improves the quality of life of the population and that contributes to sustainable agriculture.