ZeroParasitic - ZeroParasitic

About Us

ZeroParasitic is a three-year project, aiming to deliver innovative sustainable solutions to overcome broomrape plant parasitism in key Mediterranean cropping systems. Genetic and molecular approaches will be used at three critical levels to gain new insights on potential regulatory targets of the infection: the broomrapes per se, the host plants and their interaction (host-parasite). Research will target two of the most important crops in the Mediterranean. i.e. industrial tomato and faba beans. Surveillance tools utilizing remote and satellite images will be employed for monitoring parasitism and for large-scale documentation. Innovation tools will consist of molecular approaches for screening and identification of tolerant/resistant hosts and hormone host-parasite interactions. Deciphering the molecular basis for resistance utilizing pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and other defense-triggering molecules aiming to support breeding of resistant host plants. Solutions will be integrated in an integrated pest management (IPM) context targeting several innovations such as prevention, biological/non-chemical approaches, and other IPM strategies. Agronomic practices will be scientifically supported by a validated model for prediction of parasitism emergenceacross various Mediterranean locations and farming systems. Solutions will be socioeconomically evaluated, implemented and disseminated in a participatory way. The dissemination of the Project outputs will be based on a systems-thinking approach and the solutions that will be proposed will be highly accessible via an innovative web platform designed to satisfy requirements of a wide range of end-users.

For more information please visit full project website

Period of Implementations

Apr 10, 2020 - Apr 9, 2023

Total Budget

EUR 1.445.000,00



The main goal of ZeroParasitic is to integrate innovative solutions into a realistic framework through a trans-disciplinary, multi-actor effort targeting broomrapes, which is one of the most critical disease/weed in Mediterranean countries, posing a significant threat to various key cropping systems in the region.


The specific objectives are as follows: Objective 1. Identify new genetic variability in different species for broomrape tolerance/resistance Objective 2. Identify molecular genetic markers in mapping populations and in contrasting genotypes at different phases of parasite-plant interaction Objective 3. Identify new hormones and metabolites involved in broomrape germination, haustorial development and plant infection during host-plant interaction Objective 4. Identify the molecular basis of resistance based on pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to enhance capabilities for targeted breeding of resistance  Objective 5. Provide IPM solutions that are supported by innovative tools such as modelling of emergence of parasitism, validated under different Med cropping systems Objective 6. Provide surveillance tools for local, regional and national scale monitoring of the parasitism Objective 7. Disseminate the results among stakeholders, engaging with them in the co-creation of innovative solutions and provide training to farmers to facilitate prevention of broomrape expansion

Impact Pathway

ZeroParasitic’s impacts include delivering innovative sustainable solutions for prevention and integrated management of broomrapes that represent a major threat for significant crops in the Meditteranean regions. More than that, ZeroParasitic will deliver state-of-the-arts tools to support these sustainable solutions. Socio-economic evaluation of the IPM strategies will increase the likelihood for adoption of the sustainable solutions and the high adoption by the endusers is a key target for impact. Various broomrape management alternatives (WP2) could be seen as stand-alone solutions. Nevertheless, ZeroParasitic will seek to maximize impacts for end-users at national, Mediterranean, European and global scales. This will be achieved by integrating new methods to holistic solutions tailored to the various Mediterranean countries and settings and to the requirements of individual local farmers. By advancing the state of the art for broomrape prediction of emergence and mapping together with engineering innovations, ZeroParasitic is expected to lay a firm foundation for ongoing research, development, and research outputs exploitation. Most importantly, there is the potential to build on this foundation to meet medium- and long-term changes in Mediterranean farmers' needs with global environmental change and technology developments. The project’s expected impacts are in direct line with the PRIMA objectives and significant contribute to the call impacts and relevant objectives


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