The first year of the EUCLID project has been quite productive; all work packages have made significant progress toward the various main goals of the project.

As brief examples of the work already accomplished, the teams involved in tasks belonging to the work package dealing with the optimization of current pest management methods (WP1) have set up a list of selected leafy vegetables varieties and Biocontrol Agents (BCAs) against soil-borne pathogens, and also developed a pilot mass rearing system for Dicyphus spp. (without plants), i.e. a promising BCA group against multiple pests in vegetables. The development of innovative pest management approaches has been also well initiated through WP2; e.g. a team demonstrated under laboratory conditions that the Dicyphus spp., despite being omnivorous predators, may not inflict injuries to tomato plants when used as BCA.

Joint works with Chinese partners, notably the Chinese Agricultural Academy of Sciences (CAAS), has made significant progress in the framework of WP2. Frequent contact is settled in order to follow closely the progress of the experiments carried out jointly with Chinese parters. The experts involved in assessment of potential novel IPM packages (WP3) has finished to select the key indicators which will enable the evaluation of the methods developed in other WPs in terms of economical, environmental and social feasibility. They are also developing of a Decision Support System (DSS), a modern tool which goal is to help the final users (trainer, farmers, researchers, etc.) to find the best IPM methods adapted to their actual cropping case.

Dissemination of results through WP5 is so far a success; information about EUCLID project has largely been spread through various networks (scientists, media, policy makers, etc.), and multiple dissemination materials are used (conferences, poster presentations, publications, interviews, etc.) toward both European countries and Asia. The EUCLID website is also largely visited and more frequent visits are expected next year after the publications of the results.

In overall, EUCLID partners smoothly carry out the works planned in the project.


Chinese involvement in EUCLID project

The involvement of Chinese partner in the project has increased steadily in the past six months. Important results dealing with conservation biological control have been published jointly by NOAH organic farming and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA); partners demonstrated the importance of using banker plants in vegetables greenhouses for increasing biocontrol services, i.e. helping reducing use of pesticides.

Colleagues in Zheijang University (ZJU) also found promising results about the transmission of symbionts from whiteflies to parasitoids; such results have potential for future research for knowing how such symbionts may affect efficacy of biocontrol agents used against whiteflies.

Finally, the CAAS and INRA are working together for developing IPM methods based on the manipulation of crop arrangements and/or banker plants at a farm scale.

The involvement of Chinese partners will even speed up starting next year through the use of funds going to be allotted to partners by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (MOST) via application to a China-EU call for projects (results pending).

In addition, various Chinese institutes are increasingly interested by the EUCLID project which ultimately help widening results dissemination across China.