Stimulating plant defenses in commercial orchards or breeding new resistant apple and pear varieties are operational disease and pest control methods for which we develop upstream research programs. We especially focus on the genetic and molecular determinants of apple and pear resistance to scab (Venturia inaequalis and Venturia pirina), fire blight (Erwinia amylovora), rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea) and psylla (Cacopsylla pyri). Integrated defense responses, from perception to induced defenses as well as constitutive defenses are investigated. Durability of resistance factors against V. inaequalis is explored in collaboration with the team EcoFun, taking into account the pathogen variability and its potential evolution. In collaboration with the team QualiPom, genetic diversity of disease resistance and other major traits are explored in germplasm collection, together with the implementation of marker-assisted selection and genomic selection.
Four main interconnected projects are conducted in a continuum of upstream/applied researches: