Overall Aim

 

The development of a network of academic and industrial bodies enabling the comprehensive training of young researches which will explore the complex interactions between pesticides and soil microbes leading to the development of risk assessment procedures and experimental guidelines. This objective will be achieved through a balanced scheme of new recruitments and secondments that will support an inter-sectoral technology transfer.

 

 

Main Research Aim

 

The interactions between pesticides and soil microorganisms are complex and their outcome might bring  ‘felicity’ for microbes which are able to utilize these chemicals as an energy source and rapidly degrade and detoxify it or as a ‘curse’ for soil microbes which are vulnerable to the inherent toxicity of these chemicals. The main research objective of LOVE-TO-HATE is to explore these complex interactions between soil microbes and pesticides using advanced molecular tools which will the factors deciding which way the balance will go (stimulation or inhibition)

 

 

Scientific and Technological Aims

  1. Development of standardized experimental protocols for assessing the effects of pesticides on soil microbes at both laboratory (lower-tier) and field (higher tier) scale (follow up of ECOFUN-MICROBIODIV & SNAC projects)
  2. Laboratory and field assessment of pesticide microbial soil ecotoxicity
  3. Establishment of a toolbox of moderate (fingerprinting) to high resolution methodologies (NGS, microarrays) for assessing the ecotoxicity of pesticides on soil microbes at both diversity and functional level
  4. Open communication channels with regulatory bodies (EFSA) and standardization bodies (ISO) for revising the regulatory scheme regarding soil microbial ecotoxicity assessment of pesticides
  5. Application of advanced molecular tools (omic analysis) to characterize bacterial communities responsible for pesticide biodegradation and identify novel catalytic enzymes with potential biotechnological interest
  6. Development of a prototype diagnostic microarray for assessing the pesticide biodegradation capacity of soils.

 

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