Broomrapes are holoparasitic weeds that cause significant yield and quality losses in many important crops and affect the livelihoods of peoples in many countries around the world including the Mediterranean region. Yield losses range from 5% to 100% depending on host susceptibility, level of infestation and environmental conditions.

In ZeroParasitic, a clear framework for increased excellence will be facilitated by research, information and technology exchanges on innovations in broomrape management between Med regions (8 participating countries, 10 individual partners). Research will target two of most important Med crops such as industrial tomato and faba bean.

The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Identify
    • new genetic variability in different species for broomrape tolerance/resistance
    • molecular and genetic markers in mapping populations and in contrasting genotypes at different phases of parasite-plant interaction
    • new hormones and metabolites involved in broomrape germination, haustorial development and plant infection during host-plant interaction
    • the molecular basis of resistance based on pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to enhance capabilities for targeted breeding of resistance
  • Provide
    • IPM solutions that are supported by innovative tools such as DSS, validated under different Med cropping systems
    • surveillance tools for local, regional and national scale monitoring of the parasitism
  • Disseminate
    • the results among stakeholders, engaging with them in the co-creation of innovative solutions and provide training to farmers to facilitate prevention of broomrape expansion

The ZeroParasitic conceptual framework

This project is an interdisciplinary effort to integrate innovative broomrape solutions into a framework which accounts for the socioeconomic determinants of adoption and success of specific types of solutions, formulated around seven Working Packages (WP’s) as follows:

WP1 - Coordination and project management (led by BPI)

WP2 - IPM approaches to combat parasitism (led by IAV Hussan II)

WP3 - Surveillance tools to map broomrape parasitism (led by EPSILON)

WP4 - Molecular tools for detecting virulent broomrapes and identifying host resistance (led by CEBAS-SCIS)

WP5 - Utilization of molecular basis of resistance for the development resistant host plants (led by UTU)

WP6 - Socio-economic impacts (led by AUA)

WP7 - Awareness raising, communication dissemination actions, and training (led by INRAT)