Objective: This project will explore & exploit the anti-phytopathogen diversity present in selected European suppressive soils representing a wide geographical spread. The untapped functional potential present in the unculturable part of the microbiota of these soils will be accessed using metagenomic cloning of soil DNA. Moreover, as a baseline, antagonistic organisms will also be isolated. Libraries constructed on the basis of the total and the active cell fractions, as well as the isolates, will be screened for anti-phytopathogen function. Selected clones will be as said with respect to the nature of the antagonistic compounds and production loci, involving sequencing. Potential producer strains will be optimised as to gene expression, growth and stability. Based on the gene sequences obtained, molecular tools will be developed and used to monitor soil suppressiveness. The impact (biosafety) of potential applications will be assessed.
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