Hazera’s ToBRFV IR Resistance: The optimal balance between protection & performance

Hazera announces varieties with intermediate resistance (IR) to Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) in pipeline

Hazera is proud to announce the launch of our ToBRFV intermediate resistant varieties- the optimal balance between protection and performance– providing the grower an effective tool to face the highly infectious virus, infecting tomato plants, fruit and affecting growers worldwide. The Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus poses a constant threat to growers worldwide, significantly reducing yields, affecting the quality of fruit, and systematically infecting other plants, as it is a very transmittable virus that can infect through soil, tools, water, and people’s contact.

Since ToBRFV hit, Hazera’s R&D team has been working tirelessly to find varieties capable of giving an effective level of ToBRFV resistance without compromising the yield and fruit quality we’ve invested years to perfect. Over the course of several years, Hazera researchers and agronomists invested endless resources to find solutions to address our growers’ needs worldwide. Moreover, according to Alejandro Szechtman, Hazera’s Portfolio Marketing Director, “These efforts included in-depth trials in many locations, under different conditions in a global scale, to confirm that we are able to provide the optimal solutions, with the right balance between performance and ToBRFV protection”.

Frequent Q&A

The Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus, a new member of the Tobamovirus group which has originated in Africa and the Middle East in 2014, poses a constant threat to growers worldwide, as it is highly infectious. ToBRFV significantly reduces yield, affects the quality of fruit, and systematically infects other plants. ToBRFV foliar symptoms include mild and severe mosaic with occasional leaf narrowing. Tomato fruits may exhibit yellow spotting and brown rugose marks resulting in poor fruit quality. Tobamo viruses are very stable and can survive for long periods in infected crop debris, in soil or on contaminated surfaces. Spread of the virus can occur very readily through seed transmission and by mechanical transfer, especially in protected or high input culture systems where plants are pruned, staked, handled or touched frequently. In open field productions machinery used for cultivation or weed control can spread the virus and there are some reports that tobamo viruses can spread in irrigation water. The possible role of seed in the dissemination of the virus is currently not well characterized. An additional factor to consider are humans handling tomato plants / fruits – as the virus is very stable, soap will for e.g. not help destroy the virus so contamination can readily occur.

As of today, ToBRFV has become a global threat, spreading and affecting plants and fruit all over the world.

In order to prevent ToBRFV damage in your field or greenhouse, you should apply phytosanitary measures and use ToBRFV resistant varieties.
Possible phytosanitary measures include:

  • Use only seeds and seedlings from a reliable source.
  • All staff and visitors must use protective clothing: long coat, shoe covers, disposable gloves.
  • Do not use the same phytosanitary clothing when moving from one field/compartment to another.
  • Wear/ remove phytosanitary clothing at the entrance of field /compartment only.
  • Leave private equipment at the entrance of a field/compartment.
  • Place a specific set of phytosanitary equipment at the entrance of a field/compartment (working tools and accessories, hand/shoe disinfection).
  • Make sure that each field/compartment has its own tools and equipment (unless the tools were disinfected thoroughly before use).
  • Always move from young planted field/compartment to a developed one and from a healthy compartment to a suspected one. Never the other way around!
  • Do not use the same phytosanitary clothing when moving from one field/compartment to another.
  • For each compartment use a dedicated field notebook and a disposal plastic cover for all electronic devices.

In order to ensure the optimal balance between performance and protection, vast trials are taking place worldwide, including in heavily infected areas. Hazera, through Limagrain’s upstream research, contributed to a network of internal and external collaborative discovery projects on ToBRFV using different approaches. This resulted in Limagrain being the first company to file a patent on ToBRFV resistance in tomato in 2017. While the first generation of tomato hybrids resistant to ToBRFV is being commercialized, Hazera, together with Limagrain discovery programs, continue to work intensively to find resistances against potential emergent more aggressive forms of this devastating virus.
Hazera has announced the launch of IR ToBRFV varieties in pipeline in September 2022.

According to the official definition of the International Seed Federation*, resistant varieties may exhibit some disease symptoms or damage under heavy pest pressure. There are two levels of resistance defined as follows:
Intermediate resistance (IR): plant varieties that restrict the growth and/or development of the specified pest and/or the damage it causes but may exhibit a greater range of symptoms or damage compared to high resistant varieties. Intermediate resistant plant varieties will still show less severe symptoms or damage than susceptible plant varieties when grown under similar environmental conditions and/or pest pressure.
High resistance (HR): plant varieties that highly restrict the growth and/or development of the specified pest and/or the damage it causes under normal pest pressure when compared to susceptible varieties. These plant varieties may, however, exhibit some symptoms or damage under heavy pest pressure. It is important to emphasize that varieties claiming the same level of resistance against a specific pest may exhibit a different resistance response due to a different genetic makeup of a variety.

*Source: ISF

A ToBRFV resistant variety will provide better performance compared to a susceptible variety. Under certain circumstances, such as high virus pressure, abiotic stress, etcetera, some symptoms may appear.

Hazera’s ToBRFV resistant varieties are not GMOs.

We know that solely having ToBRFV resistant varieties is not enough. Hazera has been striving to find an optimal balance between ToBRFV protection and variety performance to ensure our growers can proudly grow healthier, better yielding plants to leverage their production.
In order to ensure the optimal balance between performance and protection, vast trials are taking place worldwide, including in heavily infected areas.

Rootstocks can be used with Hazera’s ToBRFV resistant varieties.

For more information please contact your local Hazera office by switching to your region on the top of the page, then clicking "stay connected"

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