Generic tomatoes

Syngenta Vegetable Seeds has announced the launch of its first commercial tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) resistant variety, which will be made available in early 2021.

According to Syngenta, the new variety will be released in areas where growers face severe disease pressure from the virus and will support against crop losses.

“The Syngenta Vegetables R&D team is ahead of the curve with the launch of the first commercial ToBRFV resistant variety,” said Ruud Kaagman, global crop unit head for tomatoes.

“Following this launch, we will aim to introduce varieties with resistance to ToBRFV across our breeding programmes and across the globe,' he explained. 'Broad resistance will be built in the portfolio during the next several years.”

ToBRFV is a newly discovered tobamovirus related to Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) which infects both tomatoes and peppers, and is mechanically transmitted within and between crops by people and equipment.

Symptoms caused by ToBRFV in tomatoes are similar to those caused by other tobamoviruses in susceptible plants: mosaic pattern on leaves, narrowing of leaves, necrosis on pedicle, calyces or petioles and/or yellow spots on the fruits, impacting the quality and yield for growers significantly.

Different levels of resistance to ToBRFV exist in Syngenta’s current germplasm, but with modern technology, the R&D team has discovered and targeted the specific genes related to the resistance.

“With fast development and use of molecular markers, Syngenta is able to rapidly make use of this resistance, deploying it in a large range of varieties; spreading the resistance in our germplasm,' noted Pilar Checa, global breeding lead for tomatoes.

'Before the utilisation of molecular markers, it could take up to ten years to develop a resistant variety,' she added. 'With broad use of molecular technology, Syngenta can more accurately and quickly breed a resistant variety.”