The focus of my individual project is to develop an overview of the tomato viruses circulating in a European region, specifically the Balkan countries of the Adriatic Sea basin. The diversity of tomato viruses is not yet well studied in this region compared to areas in Europe. The massive amount of data that can be generated from our HTS experiments can uncover novel species that circulates in this area, and ultimately protect tomato production in the region.
The Specific Objectives of my individual project are:
- to define the virome of tomato plants extensively within a region and with representative samples from other EU countries, including careful sampling design, screening and characterization using NGS and classical methods and;
- to assess the role of biological protection agents such bacteriophages and mild-strain viral agents on the virome, microbiome and fitness of tomato plants.
The Expected Results of each objective of the project are:
- A comprehensive map of viruses infecting tomato and circulating across Europe, including their description, characterization and with phylogenetic and phylodynamic insights and;
- Elucidation of the mechanism of biological protection agents on how it affects the microbiome and fitness of tomato plants.