ProLarix - Botanical plant protection agent from Larix by-products

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Frick, Switzerland

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture was founded in 1973 as a private foundation and is one of the world’s leading organic farming research and technology transfer centres dedicated to sustainable agriculture. FiBL focuses on applied soil and crop science, socio-economic and animal husbandry research and the dissemination of scientific findings to farmers, policy makers and other stakeholders in the food supply chain. Research takes place on more than 200 Swiss organic farms. FiBL has about 120 staff and is one of the world’s leading R&D and technology transfer centres dedicated to sustainable, organic and low-input agriculture. FiBL focuses on applied soil and crop science, socio-economic and veterinary research and the dissemination of scientific findings to farmers, policy makers and other stakeholders in the food supply chain. The Department of Crop Sciences involved in ProLarix has extensive applied and strategic research and development (R&D) and technology transfer experience in organic and low input production of fruit, grapevine, vegetable, and arable production systems. To ensure yield security and product quality while minimizing unwanted side-effects, we integrate crop management, varietal pest/disease resistance and crop protection while optimizing eco-system services such as biodiversity, pollination, natural disease and pest control, and soil fertility. Our research activities focused also on the development and evaluation of novel plant protection agents and integration of novel crop protection strategies. In FP7 ForestSpecs, we evaluated all extracts/substances for fungicidal/elicitor activity and identified the most promising extracts/compounds provided by ForestSpecs partners. We are also part of the FP7 CO-FREE project and also contribute to the development of the regulatory framework for botanicals and biocontrol agents (FP6 REBECA, FP5 OrganicInputs). FiBL is co-organizer of the Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting (www.abim.ch) and member of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (www.ibma-global.org). FiBL has state-of-the-art facilities for development of PPPs including indoors screening bioassays, field experimentation compliant with EPPO standards, chemistry analysis (HPTLC) and quantitative realtime PCR for gene expression assays.

Role in the project

FiBL coordinates ProLarix and provides bioassays and field trials for efficacy evaluation and development of plant protection strategies.

Scientists involved

  • Dr. Lucius Tamm (coordinator)
  • Dr. Barbara Thürig
  • Hans-Jakob Schärer, MSc