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France: Biotech company awarded grant to develop in-field early blight test

A potato plotFranceAgrimer awarded a grant of 101,000 euros to the biotechnology company Anova-plus for the development of a DNA test that detects early blight of potato in-field during the growing season. The test, named Flashdiag Alt, will be able to detect (in less than an hour) both alternata and Alternaria solani, the two fungi responsible for the disease. Indistinguishable to the naked eye, these diseases are even more difficult to identify since the symptoms are often similar to nutrient deficiencies. The goal is to reduce the use of non-targeted plant protection chemicals and limit the development of plant resistance to these chemicals. “The issue of Alternaria is growing year by year. The tool will allow industry representatives to better fight Alternaria in a more targeted and timely fashon,” says Benedict Houilliez, head of Potato Services at the Chamber of Agriculture in Nord-Pas-de -Calais. (Source:

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