Innovative approaches to fire blight resistance

22.09.2010 - 26.01.2011
This ITN provides training multidisciplinary and multisectorial opportunities in a diversity of research approaches and methodologies for sustainable apple growing. The scientific work focuses on apple as one of the economically most important European fruit crops. It will investigate the most devastating bacterial disease (fire blight caused by Erwinia amylovora). The overall aim is to identify and exploit general resistance mechanisms and to apply them to other crop-pathogen systems. The research programme will adopt both, short- and long-term strategies, to obtain new, cost-effective and ecologically beneficial protectants and protective strategies. Short-term strategies refer to agronomic influences on disease resistance. Long-term strategies will focus on the breeding for disease resistance and, therefore, on the identification of resistance genes. The use of resistant plants will reduce the need for plant protectants and, thus, the potential risks to consumers, fruit-growers and environment. Full genome sequence information of horticultural plants (apple published 2010, pear expected this year) and their main pathogens opens completely new possibilities to develop control measures and define breeding strategies. An interdisciplinary approach is needed to develop innovative approaches. Therefore, it is necessary to provide wide-ranging opportunities to overcome institutional and disciplinary boundaries for some time and to work and obtain training on related research fields at other institutions. These cover natural defence mechanisms, host-pathogen interactions and agronomic effects. Young researchers will become familiar with modern methods in breeding, horticulture, phytopathology, analysis, biochemistry, molecular biology and bioinformatics. In addition, training in research management, communication/presentation and team management will provide key skills for public and private sector employment thereby improving employment chances of young researchers.






  • Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG)


  • Energy and Environment


Feuerbrandfire blight
Erwinia amylovoraErwinia amylovora