Every year, Agroscope inspects almost 300 000 tubers for the presence or absence of viruses in order to certify potato plants destined for Swiss producers. From 2016 onwards, this inspection has been performed using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on dormant tubers right after the harvest. The new method allows results to be obtained more quickly, and dispenses with the use of toxic and polluting chemical treatments for breaking dormancy. The new analytical chain was developed by Agroscope, and validated over a period of three years on dozens of lots and almost 15,000 tubers. Offering the means to check that each stage of the analysis has been performed correctly, it can easily be adapted to screen for other types of microorganisms likely to affect the quality of the potato plants.
Spring J.-L-, Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Lorenzini F., Bourdin G., Blouin A., Carlen C., Jermini M., Morisoli R., Ferretti M.
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.