Seed World

Syngenta to Introduce its First Commercial ToBRFV Resistant Tomato Variety

Syngenta Vegetable Seeds announced the launch of its first commercial Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) resistant variety, available in early 2021. 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,” explains Ruud Kaagman, Global Crop Unit Head for tomatoes. “Following this launch, we will aim to introduce varieties with resistance to ToBRFV across our breeding programs and across the globe. Broad resistance will be built in the portfolio during the next several years.”

What is ToBRFV?

ToBRFV is a newly discovered tobamovirus related to Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV). The very stable and very infectious virus infects both tomatoes and peppers. Tobamoviruses are mechanically transmitted (contact disease) within and between crops by people and equipment. Symptoms caused by ToBRFV in tomato 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. This impacts the quality and yield for growers significantly.

R&D drives innovation to meet market demands

Syngenta is committed to adding value to vegetable products using innovative technology solutions. Technology drives faster, more efficient and accurate variety developments, allowing to better serve growers and partners along the value chain with unique traits that create greater appeal and consumption. 

Different levels of resistance to ToBRFV exist in Syngenta’s current germplasm, but with modern technology, the R&D team 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. Before the utilization of molecular markers, it could take up to 10 years to develop a resistant variety. With broad use of molecular technology, Syngenta can more accurately and quickly breed a resistant variety,” says Pilar Checa, Global Breeding Lead for tomato.

Breeding for the future in tomatoes

The introduction of this breakthrough ToBRFV resistant variety signals Syngenta’s global dedication to supporting its growers and partners. With more than 350 different varieties of tomato available to growers all over the world, Syngenta understands the importance of developing a range of performing varieties to meet the diverse needs of its network of growers. To meet these needs, Syngenta prioritizes linking technology and people to ensure high-value vegetable crops reach their full genetic potential. With Syngenta’s resources and scale, it drives innovation to improve flavor, quality, convenience and productivity, for the benefits of growers, marketers, retailers and consumers.