TomaTech announces the launch of its range of commercial Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) resistant varieties, available immediately for this coming season.

Intermediate resistance to ToBRFV (symptomless) vs non-resistant (displays symptoms)

High Tech leads the way
Over the last 3 years, the TomaTech R&D team have concentrated their energy, time and resources on researching ToBRFV genetic sources. They invested in developing an efficient and reliable system to evaluate genotypes and phenotypes on a large scale and now it appears to have rewarded them with spectacular results.

“We developed a very efficient advanced screening system based on controlled inoculation and molecular technology that scans thousands of plants simultaneously to identify and isolate active virus infections, in very difficult field conditions across a wide range of tomato cultivars,” explains Dr Assaf Eybishtz, the lead scientist for ToBRFV in TomaTech. “We are continually testing varieties under the most severe conditions, from these results over the years, we have been able to isolate, identify and produce ToBRFV resistance lines which we have now bred into our principal commercial varieties in the primary segments in Sicily.”

Dr Favi Vidavski, TomaTech President and Head of R&D commented: “Our unique trialing system, together with our focus and ability to take rapid decisions based on our results, has allowed us to successfully identify and develop our first group of commercial ToBRFV resistant varieties that are available for our customers now.”

TomaTech are now in the process of introducing IR resistance across their entire breeding program whilst concurrently broadening and deepening the resistance to attain the next stage of high resistance (HR) which we hope to accomplish in the near future. These resistant commercial varieties span a wide range of segments from Mini Plums for Spain, as well as Cluster, Datterino and several specialty varieties involving one of the most popular Plum varieties in Italy recognised for its flavour and deep red colour. All have intermediate resistance meaning they are stable and symptomless for ToBRFV.

ToBRFV around the world
The appearance of ToBRFV in commercial tomato cultivation created a substantial threat for tomato growers around the globe, causing severe damage to commercial varieties, with up to 50% loss of yield, and has presented a significant challenge for tomato breeders.

TomaTech have aimed to meet this challenge and lead the way in providing resistant variety solutions for growers thereby ensuring that retailer needs are met and the consumer will continue to be able to buy healthy, attractive and flavourful tomato varieties“.

TomaTech has dedicated itself to made the strategic decision to dedicate resources and invest heavily in developing resistance for all our existing and future commercial varieties; adapted for high-tech and non heated greenhouses. “TomaTech will continue to invest effort and resources to bring solutions to our growers while diverting even more effort to combine agronomical inputs with flavour and fruit quality I pledge to continue to surprise our customers with further innovations soon,” says Ofer Ben Zvi, CEO of TomaTech, with pride.

Dolce de Vita for Italy
In Autumn 2018, symptoms were noted on tomato crops in Sicily and by May 2019 ToBRFV emerged on tomato crops in mainland Italy. Despite hygiene protocols being set up and special units being created to monitor and diagnose ToBRFV it has remained a serious threat for the growers in the country that is one of Europe’s largest tomato producing and consuming markets. For this reason, TomaTech decided to concentrate its development of ToBRFV resistant varieties here.

“We looked at the segments that are most predominant in Italy and focused on delivering a solution for these” reports Fabio Pappalardo, TomaTech’s Regional Manager for Italy & East Europe. “We are pleased to announce that we have successfully developed ToBRFV resistance in our leading commercial varieties in the Plum, Daterino and cluster types for Italy and will soon also be releasing a number of new speciality types.”

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