European Plant metabolites platform of Crop Protection:
a 4.0 research infrastructure providing an eco-metabolomics approach to crop protection.
Crop protection based on an approach of single synthetic chemicals is no longer viable. The negative side-effects for humans and the environment are, in general, considered too large by the general public. In addition, pests and pathogens become resistant relatively easily to this kind of pesticides. In contrast, the eco-metabolomics approach to crop protection is a very promising way to sustainable and safe crop protection. It addresses the wealth of metabolites present in plants in their ecological context. Scientists link the natural variation of metabolites in plants with variation in resistance to pest and pathogens identifying candidate extracts and metabolites for plant protection. It addresses, subsequently, the functioning of these extracts and metabolites within the environment of, a plant, crop, and ecosystem including agricultural and horticultural systems. Such an intensive study is the best way to exploit efficacious compounds with respect to crop protection while minimising unwanted side-effects.