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R&D Laboratory

Biocontrol ForcePLANT Program


► Biotechnology for the vine
  Two biocontrol are used right now to strengthen the young vines defenses (mycorrhiza and trichoderma). Other biocontrols are currently being studied.

 Mycorrhiza, what is that? These are natural fungi belonging to microbial life of soils. Their presence differs according to growing conditions. The agricultural technics from these last decades (use of great quantities of fertilizers and pesticides, soils compaction…) have caused a scarcity, and even the extinction of mycorrhiza. The reintroduction of these fungi aims to improve the vines growth through biological mechanisms because mycorrhiza brings numerous advantages to the vine.

 Reinforcing absorption capacity of the vine. The mycorrhiza develops in symbiosis with the vine at roots level in right conditions. This symbioses leads to a more efficient roots system and improves the natural defenses of the vine. In this way the vine takes advantage of a better access to nutrients of the soil, particularly to phosphorus and show a better resistance to environmental stress (drought, salinity, attacks by pathogen agents…) in a natural way. The formation of mycorrhiza is also known for consolidating and improving the CO2 fixation in the soil.

 Presence of Mycorrhiza and Mycorrhization, What is the difference? The simple presence of mycorrhiza does not guarantee at all the beneficial effects because the symbiosis (recognized and functional exchanges between the vine and the mycorrhiza) can only guarantee it. To obtain this symbiosis, our engineers have worked on a production process favorable to the Mycorrhiza development and the best suited format of vine. In the same time they have developed tools of Mycorrhization rate evolution. These tools aim today to certify each batch of vines produced by MERCIER that uses this biotechnology.

 Why using Mycorrhiza only for vines in pots? Right now, MERCIER excludes every use of Mycorrhiza for bare root dormant vine. The trimming of the bare root dormant vine roots before manual planting damages the presence of Mycorrhiza. Excepted for bare root dormant vines with long roots, the efficiency of Mycorrhiza for this kind of vine has still to be checked (Research and Development in progress). As a result, our engineers have worked on a specific process of production for vines in pots. This format is the only one obtaining small roots able to receive Mycorrhiza. The way of production of a vine in pot gathers the best conditions for the development of the symbiosis between Mycorrhiza and young vines. Finally, the pot ensures the transport of the whole recently created microbial life in the vineyard to take long-term advantages of this biotechnology. The sole technique obtaining all the advantages of the Mycorrhiza, and all the associated guarantees, is the technique of production developed by our engineers.

«Protective fungi, a hope?
Within old vines populations that do not show leaf symptoms, a high protective fungus proportion was detected (Trichoderma spp.)»
 Phytoma, November 2013.

 A trichoderma Fungus, What is that? The trichoderma genus includes a set of fungi naturally living in the soil, dead wood, vegetal fragments and aerial parts of plants.
Trichoderma has the ability to attack pathogen agents by different ways of action: 1) The antibiosis resulting from the production of substances which act as “antibiotics” and inhibit the pathogen agent growth; 2) Competition. Trichoderma uses this way of action above all to colonize the space and to stop the pathogens fungi introduction; 3)The parasitism that leads to the destruction of the pathogen agent.
 Why the l-1237 strain of Trichoderma and not another one? The atroviride strain l-1237 has been selected by INRA for its antagonism and its virulence vs wood diseases associated pathogens. There are many strains of Trichoderma and they do not show the same characteristics. The works of INRA only focused on the selection of a particularly virulent Trichoderma strain against pathogen fungi identified in wood diseases. The atroviride strain l-1237 has demonstrated the most efficiency and it is the sole one that can be used for this purpose at the moment.
 Inoculating Trichoderma l-1237, in the rootstock and the scion: Inoculating Trichoderma l-1237 within the young vines and demonstrating its colonization. After confirming the efficiency of Trichoderma vs wood diseases associated fungi, our engineers have worked the inoculation process in production. This colonization within the rootstock and the scion is systematically checked by a sanitary control for each batch of vines before packaging of the Biocontrol range vines based on our biotechnologies. 

 Reducing the early contamination risk: Reducing the early contamination risk in nurseries and in open fields. The inoculated vines with Trichoderma strain l-1237 are more resistant than classic vines. As long as Trichoderma stays inside the young vine, they colonize the space and offer a natural protection vs pathogen fungi, then reducing the early contamination risk. Our engineers recommend then to proceed to Trichoderma l-1237 application on pruning wounds with ESQUIVE product (distributed by Bayer) of Agrauxine company, the MERCIER Nurseries partner in this innovation.


 Further information on this topic :

 Vines made from CleanPROCESS®* and inoculated with natural microorganisms to strengthen their defenses and to improve take rate.

Mycorrhiza + Trichoderma Strain I-1237 Mycorrhiza + Trichoderma Strain I-1237 Trichoderma Strain I-1237
Vines in biodegradable pot 7x9

 Super-pot of 0.65 litre   
 Bare roots dormant vines

Vines made from CleanPROCESS®*and inoculated with natural microorganisms to strengthen their defenses and to improve take rate.
Click here to learn more about 
Vines made from CleanPROCESS®and inoculated with natural microorganisms to strengthen their defenses and to improve take rate.
Click here to learn more about 
Vines made from CleanPROCESS®*and inoculated with natural microorganisms to strengthen their defenses and to improve take rate.
Click here to learn more about 


*CleanPROCESS® is protected by an International patent (International publication n° WO2013/01105311). 

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