Enza Zaden ToBRFV toms

Enza Zaden says the first trials of tomatoes with high resistance to tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) are showing excellent results.

After announcing the discovery of the high resistance gene in late 2020, the seed company has reported that preliminary findings at its testing centre in Mexico confirm a high level of resistance to the disease compared with more susceptible varieties.

“We do not observe signs of the pathogen in the plants, although the pressure of the virus is very high,” said Oscar Lara, tomato product specialist.

While susceptible varieties showed variations in the leaves, such as yellow coloured mosaics, as well as delayed growth, tomato product specialist Oscar Lara said the High Resistance (HR) plants showed no sign of the pathogen.

“It is possible to observe how well our HR varieties resist ToBRFV,” Lara said. “Unlike plants of susceptible varieties, resistant plants look healthy, show no signs of the virus, have a darker coloration and good growth.”

The company is conducting similar trials with HR ToBRFV varieties in other countries.

“Our trials in Europe, North America and the Middle East show that, qualitatively, we have very good tomato varieties with a confirmed high resistance level,” said Kees Könst, Enza Zaden’s director of crop research.

“This is good news for all those who work in tomato cultivation. We know the stakes are high for our customers, and that is why we work hard to make our heavy-duty varieties available on the market. We hope to have them ready in the coming years.”