Technical feasibility


SECTION I: Testing



Has the R & D result been tested?





The following question is replied according to the reply in question 1


If yes



In what mode has the result been tested?•             Prototype

•             Pilot Application

•             Alpha/BETA testing


The research results introduces the use of the endophyte fungus Alternaria alternata and the secondary metabolites, belonging to the class of Diketopiperazines (DKPs) as antagonist agents of Plasmopara viticola.The tests have been performed in greenhouse on young plants spraying over the leaves the fungus or the DKPs to prevent or cure the effects of the pathogen.

The test need to be extended to a large number of plants varying also the treatment modalities to obtain a more significant statistic also in conjunction with integrated fight.

At the moment, due to the limited extension of the test campaign, the result may be considered at prototype level.

An interesting test activity (near to a pilot application), in real conditions, and in comparison with classical and innovative methods, has been planned as soon as founding will allow to produce a sufficient quantitative of broth or to synthesize the necessary amount of DKPs.




1b. Please describe and discuss the testing results
The results showed that the treatment with the  A. alternata broth and with the DKPs mix was not damaging the grapevine (no necrosis and alteration of leaf tissue). Better efficacy against the pathogen has been observed curing the plant rather then preventing the pathology and different sensitivity was evident on some cultivar. About 50% reduction in sporulation was  observed during the test. 


If no:



Describe what type of testing does the R&D result need?
1d. What is the time needed for testing?
1e. What is the cost needed for testing?



SECTION 2: Current Stage of Development



To what extent does the development team have technical resources for supporting the production of a new product? (Researchers, human resources, hardware, etc. )
The development team has the know-how to support the scientific activities necessary to develop and test the product.Both the fungus broth and the DKPs need a production plant not available at the  University premises. Production is not difficult to outsource. At the moment, there is the opportunity to test the result with the support of big grapevine nursery which is continuously testing new products both biological and synthetic. That opportunity may greatly improve the confidence about the efficacy also in comparison with other methods among the conventional treatments and the innovative ones. It has also to be noticed that this kind of test is something not easily feasible in the academic labs since the envisaged procedure is a complete cycle of vinification with an accurate analysis of the final product (e.g. against the presence of residual toxins).







What are the technical issues that need to be tackled for full deployment, if needed?
The use of the DKPs is easier to follow through since the production techniques are mature due to other similar productions. The direct use of the fungus requires to set up a suitable method to treat the plants. 


What additional technical resources are needed for the production of this new product?



Overall assessment of the current stage of technical development.
Provided that the method has been already tested in the laboratory and in the greenhouse, most of the issues has been already faced. From the technical viewpoint, it is important to find the most effective way to produce the antagonist and introduce it in the plant. There are not special concerns about cost figures since the production techniques are mature due to similar existing productions. On the other hand, the production shall be made by industries that are already in the field of the bio-pesticides or even in the field of nutrition products. In conclusion, confidence about feasibility is high. 

SECTION 3: Deployment


Define the demands for large scale production in terms of
  • Materials
organic chemicals 
  • technologies, tools, machineries
bio-chemical industry 
  • Staff effort
low (automated production or natural growth) 



SECTION 4: Overall Assessment



What is you overall assessment of the technical feasibility of the research result?
The level of  confidence about feasibility is good since there are not special obstacles to  overcome. The methodology been already defined, used and tested with positive results. The remaining technical effort is mostly on extending the validation in terms of modalities and statistically significant numbers of plants. 








Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Adequacy of testing activity undertaken so far X
Adequacy and availability of technical resources of the development team X
Current development stage X
Overall technical feasibility  X




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