Virosis alfalfa
Lead researcher: 
Fernando Escriu Paradell
120.000 €
The proposal, which is an extension of two preceding grants, addresses the study of the main viruses infecting alfalfa, a traditional crop in Spain that is increasing in interest because the export market is promisingly opening up for dehydrated fodder. First, the project goes deep into the knowledge of Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) epidemiology, addressing, specifically, the impact that integrated pest management strategies may have on the epidemiological parameters of the disease and on the evolution of AMV genetic diversity, through its effects on the aphid vector populations. Second, the project focuses on the syndrome of alfalfa enations, which may be associated to at least two different viruses of the family Rhabdoviridae. The analysis of their negative effects on the crop, the characterization of their biological and molecular properties, and the optimization of more advanced and efficient diagnostics techniques will contribute to shed some light on the etiology of the disease. 
The specific targets proposed are:
  1. Epidemiology of alfalfa viruses: surveys in fields under conventional management versus fields under integrated pest management
    1. Analysis of epidemiological parameters: incidence, seed infection rates, vector dynamics
    2. Analysis of AMV genetic diversity and its evolution
  2. Etiology of alfalfa enations: diagnostics, characterization and effects of associated viruses
Project members: 
Gloria Estopañán, Eva Núñez Seoane (CITA); Jaume Almacellas Fort, A.I. del Cueto Ginzo (Generalitat de Catalunya)