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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal INRAE Université de Liège Université de Lille Université Picardie Jules Verne Associated institutions

UMR Transfrontalière BioEcoAgro (

Biocontrol intersection

As part of the current agroecology transition initiated in Europe but also in several regions around the world, the search for alternative control methods, aimed at reducing the dependence of agricultural production systems on chemical synthetic pesticides, is strongly encouraged. To face this major challenge, biocontrol is one of the most promising levers for bio-protecting crops against bio-pests and guaranteeing quality and sufficient production in quantity.

Biocontrol compounds can be living microorganisms (beneficial bacteria or fungi), plant or microbial extracts or metabolites, or even bio-sourced compounds from biomass transformation co-products. They act by direct antimicrobial activity or indirectly by activating the defense mechanisms of the plant (plant defense stimulators, also called resistance inducers).

Marc Ongena, Liege University, and Ali Siah, Junia, intersection leaders

Marc Ongena, Liege University, and Ali Siah, Junia, intersection leaders

Biocontrol is an important and cross-cutting theme within the BioEcoAgro Cross-border UMR, researched by a variety of approaches. The originality of the unit lies in the complete and unique value chain at its disposal, ranging from in silico prediction to field validation tests. More concretely, the work aims to:

  1. Predict, identify and determine the production potential of new biocontrol compounds using bioinformatics tools
  2. Characterize, orient and model the biosynthetic pathways of these compounds using digital tools and genetic and metabolic engineering
  3. Check the biological activities (protective efficacy), the safety (toxicological and ecotoxicological study) and the modes of action of the compounds on pathosystems (plant-pest) of economic and agronomic interest
  4. Validate the efficacy of the compounds in the field and their compatibility with low chemical input culture systems
  5. Optimizing the formulation and production of the compounds on a large scale in order to prepare their potential industrial use and placing on the market.