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Breeding for IPM in sustainable and low-input agricultural systems

July 4-6, 2016, IHAR-PIB Radzików, PL

The technical programme of the Breeding for IPM in sustainable and low-input agricultural systems will consist of plenary lectures, lead papers, contributory papers, discussions with scientists,policy planners, representatives from Industryand NGO's, poster presentation and an exciting exhibition.

Venue: IHAR-PIB, Radzików, Poland
Dates: July 4-6 2016
Official Language: English

1. Context and major strategic objectives

Plant breeding contribution to integrated pest management (IPM) and to implementation of sustainable farming systems using low inputs of pesticides is proposed to be analysed in a broad approach, including:

  •  breeding for traits increasing the resistance to pests and pathogens alongside with the improvements of all other agronomic traits;
  • optimum use of new varieties in cropping systems to fully valorise their genetic traits and to preserve their genetic resistance by an appropriate deployment;
  • diversification of crops and crop types as well as in agronomic practices, that are powerful lever for sustainable management of crop health and effective to reduce pest/vector pressure on the newly-deployed breeding material.

For maximising contribution of genetics and plant breeding to IPM in existing or emerging cropping systems, the three dimensions described above have to be considered simultaneously. The possibility of using plant genetics for a sustainable pest management (sensu lato including the management of animal pests, pathogens and weeds) and thus a reduced reliance on pesticides so be the focus.

Screening genetic resources of cultivated species and their relatives for new pest resistance genes has been a priority of researchers and breeders for long time. However, resources of new resistance genes are limited for most crop species and consequently stacking and pyramiding genes in a scientifically sound way is very common to avoid selection pressure of new strains, biotypes and races of pests. In addition to resistance traits, which contribute to an effective pest management and avoid/contain epidemic outbreaks, plant breeding must also include all other agronomic traits (growth, canopy architecture, ontogeny, defence mechanisms), together with adaptation to climate change and added quality value of plant products. The search for an adequate compromise among traits and for convex relationships among traits should be promoted. This requires a good understanding of genetic bases of resistance, physiological mechanisms underlying resistance and possible metabolic costs in order to use genetically determined resistance lever to limit adverse effects of pests.

2. Objectives of the workshop

The main objectives of the workshop are following:

  1. provide an overview of the existing national programmes on topics related to breeding relevant to IPM. (To this aim, a short questionnaire will be designed and circulated pre-workshop to C-IPM partners and other workshop participants to collect relevant information which will be presented at the workshop),
  2. gather international experts and stimulate exchange of information and expertise on  the ongoing development of resistant/tolerant germplasms that adapt to IPM system,
  3. review whether the focus on IPM requires breeders to take a different approach than the traditional one and seek experts’ opinion in this regard,
  4. discuss how the plant resistance to diseases, pests and weeds can be improved in its durability and stability when introduced within the context ofwhen combined with complementary approaches which are part of IPM (cultivation practices, plant and landscape architecture …),
  5. Identify research priorities for National, transnational and European programmes related to breeding and IPM.

3. Tentative programme

The programme should start from breeding point of view then focus on how to combine different available techniques/measures to foster IPM. What is currently available in terms of breeding and which are the major bottlenecks, and what else can be done for IPM.

3.1 New and well-documented technologies and plant traits that are suitable for IPM

  1. classical and novel breeding methods and technologies which are particularly promising for IPM;
  2. analysis of gains in resistance to pests actually achieved and used in farmers’ fields;
  3. plant fitness and trade-offs between resistances to various pests, and between resistances – and traits controlling agronomic performances.

3.2 Combining breeding material with cultivation practices for an improved integrated pest management

  1. breeding for crop diversification (crop rotation, cultivar mixtures, intercropping, strip cropping etc);
  2. breeding for mixed cropping systems (multi species crops) to reduce pest pressure problematic in monoculture;
  3. optimum breeding, agronomic and protection strategies for implementing new crops at low cost (modification of plant canopy architecture for example);
  4. modelling at various levels (from plant to field and landscape) the effects of genetic resistance and agronomic practices;
  5. consequences of deployment of varieties with high genetic resistance on the activity of advisory systems and on the need of additional information.
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