Bayer is launching the final large-scale, pre-launch trials of Roma-type tomatoes to help growers address Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV). The trials in Mexico will include two varieties of Roma-type tomato that claim Intermediate Resistance (IR) to ToBRFV. The type of IR Bayer has seen in these varieties is commonly referred to as the “symptomless carrier,” where, despite the presence of virus particles, the crop can show little or no symptoms of the virus in the leaf and/or fruit should the crop become infected by the virus. Adding ToBRFV in the pathogen list for tomato was discussed during a September meeting of the International Seed Federation.
ToBRFV was first observed in 2014 and spread rapidly to different world areas. This viral disease impacting tomato plants represents a challenge for the industry as it can be transmitted very easily through many vectors including farming tools and equipment, workers’ hands, plants, water, soil, and people.
“ToBRFV can quickly devastate tomato crops, so Bayer worked to develop a product to help growers combat it,” said JD Rossouw, head of Bayer’s Vegetable Seeds R&D. “Bayer leveraged global cross-functional teams and extensive research and development pipeline to offer a solution designed to ease the day-to-day challenges faced by growers. Our research continues across several tomato species with the goal of bringing further innovative resistance to growers as quickly as possible.”
Following the trials, Bayer anticipates the products will be available for commercial sale in Mexico in 2021, to later be followed by offerings in other important markets around the world.
Source: Bayer September 15, 2020 news release