Enza Zaden ToBFV

Enza Zaden has identified a gene with high resistance to the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), paving the way for a solution to one of the most devastating diseases to affect the crop.

Sergio de la Fuente van Bentem, phytopathologist researcher at Enza Zaden, said: “We know that there is a lot at stake for our clients. That’s why our company has done everything possible to find a solution.

“Now that we have discovered the answer, we will continue to work hard to develop tomato varieties that are highly resistant to ToBRFV. We hope to have them ready in the next few years.”

The company considers this gene is unlike any other known in the field, in that it offers “high resistance” to ToBRFV.

Since it was discovered in Israel in 2014, ToBRFV has spread across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, and its advance continues due to its easy spread by mechanical transmission.

The virus has an incubation period of two to three weeks before symptoms appear, making it extremely difficult to contain a localised outbreak once it begins.