Biology Division


Summer photo of a cultivated field with a hill in the background

Experimental tials, both in the field, in the semi-field and in the laboratory, are an indispensable tool for obtaining:
• scientific knowledge of the products
• their applicability in the various agronomic and environmental contexts
• their commercial authorization with the competent Authorities
• their diffusion in the target markets

Efficacy and selectivity trials (GEP)

Photo of two operators looking at leaves in a field
The efficacy trials are designed to evaluate the efficacy of agrochemical compounds in relation to pests and to verify if there are any eco-toxic effects on living organisms and the environment.
They also include the study of dissemination methods of these agents and their interaction with the environment.

• Herbicide trials
• Insecticide and fungicide trials
• Trials on mites
• Trials on side effects of treatments on beneficial organisms of treatments
• Trials with biostimulants
• Trials with bio-control products
• “Seed care” trials
• Trials with the use of microorganisms
• Trials to check the ecotoxicity and the phytotoxicity of products

Trial on Nutritionals and Biostimulants

Photo of sprouts
• Preliminary and semi-field trials
• Agronomic trials in the field and in greenhouses
• Technical support in registering biostimulants
• Demonstration trials in collaboration with organizations in the foodchain sector

Preliminary and semi-field trials

Agri 2000 Net conducts laboratory and semi-field trials for new biostimulants. The studies are carried out directly in the laboratory, in the growth chambers and in Agri 2000 Net’s climate controlled greenhouses and in collaboration with public and private scientific institutions.
• Screening and selection of candidate biological matrices with biostimulant effects;
• Characterization of the biostimulant effects;
• Study of the action mechanism: analysis of the metabolic actions stimulated in micro-organisms or model plants (bio-essays, biochemical tests, genomic and metabolic tests);
• Study of doses in relation to the target effects
• Simulation of abiotic stress in controlled conditions to check the effect of the biostimulants in containing their negative effects.

Agronomic trials in the field and in greenhouses

Agri 2000 Net designs and conducts agronomic trials in the field and in greenhouses for the development and registration of biostimulants and fertilizers. Accumulated competence and experience enable us to define the most suitable protocols complying with the requirements of national standards and the 2019/1009 European regulation. This competence is enhanced by the participation of Agri 2000 Net’s bio-solution development manager in the CEN working group on standards for the demonstration of claims regarding biostimulants.
The tests are conducted with careful selection of the location of the trials, of the most uniform conditions possible and supported by the availability of a vast series of instruments to measure the physiological condition of the plants (water stress, level of chlorophyll, rate of photosynthesis, gas exchange of the leaves) and of the quality of the product harvested (hardness, acidity, colour).
The findings regarding the quality of the harvested product can be integrated with the sensory analyses carried out by Agri 2000 Net’s panel of sensory judges.

Support in registering biostimulants

Agri 2000 Net provides support for the registration of biostimulant products in compliance with the national requirements of European countries respecting the 2019/1009 EU regulation.

Demonstration trials in collaboration with organizations in the sector

Agri 2000 Net has established partnerships with important organizations in the sector and has developed collaboration with others. This enables Agri 2000 Net to organize trials to demonstrate the capacity of products to improve the yield of farmers who work in the relevant food sectors.

Residue and soil dissipation trials (no-GLP)

Photo of Agri2000 Net operators in a field wearing protective suits
Agri 2000 Net has been conducting residual trials on the main agricultural crops in Italy in conformity with the GLP/BPL standards and OECD guidelines since 1991.
Agri 2000 Net carries out field studies on the accumulation and dissipation of chemical plant protection products in the soil.

Seed dressing trials (GEP)

Photo of a seed treatment machine
Agri 2000 Net carries out “semi-field” and field trials (GEP/BPS), to verify the effectiveness of seed dressing, both in “natural ground infestation” conditions and in “artificial infestation” of substrata with Schlerotinia spp., Fusarium spp., Pythium spp., Phytophthora spp., Rhizoctonia spp.
Agri 2000 Net designs and carries out field studies to check for dispersion of the seed dressing in the environment and to assess any risks regarding beneficial organisms and operators.

Laboratory studies on the efficacy of insecticides and the resistance of parasites

Photo of a lab worker carrying out tests on plant parasites
• Efficacy bioassays (acute toxicity): leaf-dip, diet incorporation, topical application, spraying application;
• Monitoring for insecticide resistance in field-collected populations (field collection, rearing, testing);
• Range of activity of insecticides (species and stages);
• Selectivity screening for beneficials (insects and mites);
• Sublethal Effects: adult longevity, fecundity, egg viability, nymph to adult developmental time, survival, sex ratio—Insecticides.

Laboratory studies on the efficacy of fungicides and the resistance of pathogens

Agri 2000 carries out the following bioassays using own fungi isolates from tissue collected in the field and isolates coming from Public bodies:
• In-vitro bioassays for primary testing;
• In planta bioassays in greenhouse for profiling;
• Resistance monitoring.

Monitoring of pathogen resistance is an important tool for an early prediction of resistance development in field pathogen populations.
In the bioassay is evaluated the mycelial growth or the conidial germination of the pathogen on media added with fungicide at different concentrations. Data obtained allow to calculate the EC50value (concentration of product that gives half-maximal response) and to categorize the pathogen as sensitive or resistant.
Molecular study provide further information about the presence of substitutions causing reduced sensitivity to fungicides

Laboratory studies on the efficacy of herbicides and on weed resistance

Photo of laboratory tests on plants
Agri 2000 conducts experimental trials on crops in greenhouses to evaluate resistance of weeds to the action of new herbicides.

“In vivo” trials

They are conducted in greenhouses, depending on the different conditions of usage. Pre or post-emergence, in dry or wet conditions and in the various development phases of the weeds and crops.
• Evaluation of the response to predefined doses
• Evaluation of the dose-response curve
• Evaluation of “baseline sensitivity”

Agri 2000 carries out screening in Growth Chamber with crop protection products and biostimulants

Photo of trays with plant sprouts in the laboratory

Agri 2000 performs Growth Chamber screening with agrochemicals and biostimulants.

• Walk-in growth chambers with total control and great uniformity of environmental conditions: temperature, light, humidity and air flow.
• Spraying chamber to perform the application on plants simulating field exposure conditions.
• Screening of the efficacy of seed treatment with artificial infestations of the substrata with soil borne diseases (Sclerotinia spp., Fusarium spp., Pythium spp., Phytophthora spp., Rhizoctonia spp.; Microdochium nivale, etc.);
• Screening on plants with artificial infestations of obligates diseases (downy mildews and powdery mildews of the most important crops) as well as non-obligates diseases;
• Germinationtests.

Agri 2000 conducts screening in greenhouses with plant health products nutritionals and biostimulants.

Agri 2000 Net carries out screening in greenhouse with crop protection and biostimulant products. Supplemental lights and heating system allow year-round testing.
• Efficacy testing (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, biostimulants) on large plants with application method near to the field conditions (electric sprayer with nozzles);
• Rainfastness studies;
• Effects on adjacent crops and on succeeding crops (EPPO PP1/256; EPPO PP1/207).

Laboratory and field studies on Nematodes (GEP)

Laboratory photo of Nematodes
Agri 2000 conducts GEP/BPS field trials vs the main nematodes in agricultural crops (Meloidogyne, Globodera, Heterodera)

The Agri 2000 Test Centre possesses an accredited laboratory, equipped to carry out the identification and quantitative analysis of the main cyst and gall nematodes present in soils.

Rice trials (GEP)

Photo of a rice field
Agri 2000 Net conducts trials to check the efficacy of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and biostimulants in the main areas of Europe where this crop is cultivated (Italy, Spain and Greece).
• Efficacy trials (GEP): herbicides, insecticides, fungicides
• Seed Dressing Trials
• Resistance to agrochemicals trials
• Crop performance trials
• Demonstration trials, organization of launch platforms and workshops
Trial sites in Italy and in Europe

Demonstration trials and organization of launch platforms and workshops

Photo of Agri2000 Net operators in a field in summer
Agri 2000 Net organizes demonstration trials, platforms, technical workshops and webinar in the most representative areas of the crops regarding Italy, Greece, Spain and France. The aim is to increase technical knowledge of operators in the sector and to encourage a rapid market entry of new agrochemical products.

This is achieved thanks to the involvement of the main interested players: agricultural producers, dealers, regulation authorities, public administration experts, agronomists, biologists and plant disease experts.

Crop performance trials

Photo of a machine in a field for the treatment of seeds
Through the use of representative sites in Italy Greece, Spain and France, Agri 2000 Net carries out crop performance trials on the following crops:
• Winter cereals
• Soya
• Maize
• Vegetables
• Sugar beet
• Meadow and alpha-alpha
• Rice
Green decorative pattern