Seed World

HM.CLAUSE Launches First ToBRFV Resistant Tomato Varieties

HM.CLAUSE announced the first launch of ToBRFV resistant tomato varieties, set to begin in Mexico in November 2022 with two Saladette varieties at the Expo Agroalimentaria Guanajuato.

New varieties will be introduced in 2023 in other tomato markets — including Italy — where cherry and cluster type varieties that are resistant to the infection are being tested during this fall and winter season.

Validation trials are also being conducted in Spain and the Middle East, two regions where the ToBRFV virus has been confirmed.

“The last (few) years, HM.CLAUSE has been working in developing a pipeline with IR resistance to ToBRFV, focusing on different tomato segments like Saladette, Cherry, Round Loose and Specialties. Thanks to our elite germplasm and R&D resources, we will be able to deliver value to growers with varieties that provide high agronomic performance and an effective IR resistance to ToBRFV,” said Jose Arauz, tomato marketing portfolio lead at HM.CLAUSE, in a release.

“Our ambition is to deliver a proven solution to our customers without compromising on any of our tomato variety quality attributes,” he added.

The highly virulent, aggressive virus has plagued tomatoes since its discovery in Israel in late 2014. ToBRFV spread to Jordan in 2015, followed by Mexico. Now, the virus has been identified in various countries across the globe.

After its discovery, an active search for resistant sources to combat the infection was immediately initiated. Through Limagrain’s upstream research, HM.CLAUSE collaborated with the network of internal and external discovery projects, resulting in Limagrain’s patent in 2017 — the first on ToBRFV resistance in tomato.

While the commercialization of the first generation of ToBRFV resistant tomato hybrids is underway, Limagrain discovery programs will continue to work intensively to uncover resistance against more aggressive forms of the infection that may emerge.

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