Enza Zaden finds high resistance to the devastating tomato virus ToBRFV
One of the world’s leading vegetable breeders, Enza Zaden, has found a solution for tomato growers to beat the devastating Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV).
Its tomato breeding team has identified the gene that provides high resistance to the worldwide rapidly spreading virus.
Sergio de la Fuente van Bentem, plant pathology researcher at Enza Zaden: “We know there’s a lot at stake for our customers. That’s why our company has worked very hard to find a solution."
"Now that we have discovered the answer, we keep on working hard to develop tomato varieties that are highly ToBRFV resistant. We expect to have these ready in the coming years.”
The company’s researchers believe this gene is like no other currently known in the field, and offers “high resistance” to ToBRFV, also called tobamo after its genus.
With this innovation, the introduction of ToBRFV resistance will potentially secure production for the tomato industry, from large multinationals through to smallholder farmers who all cultivate what is currently the most traded vegetable internationally.
Since it was first discovered in Israel in 2014, the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) has spread to parts of Europe, America, Asia and Africa, while the march continues through its easy spread via mechanical transmission.
ToBRFV has an incubation period of two to three weeks before symptoms occur, making it an uphill battle to contain a localised spread once it begins.