Report of the BIOFECTOR closing meeting, held at 26-27. June, 2017

A final meeting was organised as a closing ceremony of the EU-funded BIOFECTOR project on 26-27th of June, at the Faculty of Horticultural Science of Szent István University, Budapest. Several lectures and posters were presented on the 1st day of the program by project participants from Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary including many PhD students. The Workshop was opened by Zsuzsanna Pluhár, vice dean of the Faculty of Horticultural Science, responsible of Scientific and International Affairs. Following the introduction, the main objectives and achievements of the project and the participating 22 European partner institutions were shown by Markus Weimann, postdoct researcher from the coordinating University of Hoheinheim, Germany. The “International Field testing network” and the effects of bioeffectors on organic tomato production were presented by Borbála Biró and Zita Szalai from the Department of Soil Science and Water Management and Department  of Ecological Farming and Sustainable Production Systems, respectively.

PhD students of the Szent István University Faculty of Horticulture (Hungary) and Hoheinheim University (Germany) showed their results in oral presentations and posters in the afternoon session of the program. The major topics included microbial variability of bioeffector-treated test plants; methods of soil analysis, the environmental response and quality of different Hungarian tomato varieties; the consequences of bioeffector application in fruit antioxidant levels etc.. All participants had a final discussion, where  the opportunities of further collaboration were also addressed.

Bio-effectors are fungal and bacterial strains with well-characterized root growth promoting and nutrient-solubilising potential. Natural extraction products with protective potential against biotic and abiotic stresses are also tested in various combinations. Besides tomato, further crops, as maize and wheat were also used as representative crops. Laboratory and European-wide field experiments assure product adaptation to the various geo-climatic conditions characteristic for European agriculture.

On the 2nd day of the program (27th of June, 2017), the experimental background was demonstrated at the research and experimental field of ecological farming,  Faculty of Horticultural Science in Soroksár.. The potentials of using various bioeffectors and other bioeffective approaches for tomato cultivation were demonstrated in the field. The participants were shown the set up of the experiments and the early stage of plant growth and the efficiency and power of organically grown tomato. Such bioeffective solutions should be a part of the economically and ecologically sustainable production in future. 

The project (“Use of bioeffectors in European Crop production”) has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 312117 (BIOFECTOR). Project Duration 60 Month 01.09.2012-31.08.2017. Further information can be found at www.biofector.info.