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Pest Manag Sci. 2017 Jan;73(1):14-21. doi: 10.1002/ps.4423. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops.

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Eco-Innov Research Unit, INRA, Thiverval-Grignon, France.
Plant Pathology Research Unit, INRA, Montfavet, France.
Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Julius Kühn-Institut, Kleinmachnow, Germany.
Institute of Plant Health, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), Vienna, Austria.
Life Science Department, Walloon Agricultural Research Centre, Gembloux, Belgium.
Plant Protection Institute, Szent Istvan University, Gödöllö, Hungary.
Wageningen University and Research Centre, Biointeractions and Plant Health, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Slagelse, Denmark.
INRA, Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, UMR 1355-7254 Institut Sophia Agrobiotech, Sophia Antipolis, France.
Invivo AGRINOVEX, Ferme du Corbeau, Milly-la-Forêt, France.
Ctifl, Centre de Lanxade, Prigonrieux, France.


EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such initiatives are often fragmented. The operational outputs of national efforts would benefit from closer collaboration among stakeholders via transnationally coordinated approaches, as most economically important pests are similar across Europe. This paper proposes a common European framework on biocontrol R&I. It identifies generic R&I bottlenecks and needs as well as priorities for three crop types (arable, vegetable and perennial crops). The existing gap between the market offers of biocontrol solutions and the demand of growers, the lengthy and expensive registration process for biocontrol solutions and their varying effectiveness due to variable climatic conditions and site-specific factors across Europe are key obstacles hindering the development and adoption of biocontrol solutions in Europe. Considering arable, vegetable and perennial crops, a dozen common target pests are identified for each type of crop and ranked by order of importance at European level. Such a ranked list indicates numerous topics on which future joint transnational efforts would be justified.


European research networking; beneficials; biomolecules; biopesticides; innovation; integrated pest management; semiochemicals; sustainable agriculture

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