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EnzaZaden: Quality with High Resistance to ToBRFV

The seed company is offering materials with high resistance to ToBRFV.
enza Ponza

In 2014, a virus appeared in Israel that ravaged tomato crops, ToBRFV. It is a problem that currently affects many countries, amongst them Spain, Italy and Morocco. The scarcity of offer caused by the incidence of the virus and the effects of inflation have meant that prices at the beginning of January were about 1.5-1.6€/kg in the case of G vine tomatoes; 1.95€/kg in loose tomatoes and 1.2€/kg for plum tomatoes. Figures that are very high at these dates.

The moment ToBRFV was discovered, Enza Zaden set to work to find the gene that would provide high resistance to ToBRFV and to develop resistant varieties. At present, it has commercial varieties with high resistance. HREZ (High Resistance by Enza Zaden) is the stamp that makes the varieties with high resistance to ToBRFV recognisable. These varieties are comparable on a marketing level to other materials without resistance on the market. “All the varieties easily make the grade, both in organoleptic qualities and in yield,” according to Carlos Herrerías, Solanaceae Product Manager at Enza Zaden.

In the plum cherry or baby plum segment, the new developments are Pascua and Ponza, which, in addition to offering high resistance to TYLCV and high productivity, also have a good Brix level. It is worth mentioning that in the case of Ponza, its great flavour is being very highly valued by the most demanding markets. Alongside these two varieties, Herrerías advances that soon other new developments that are under development will be marketed.

In the large plum segment, Enza Zaden is offering HR to ToBRFV and spotted with Cedros and Azores, and in the case of Cedros, it is also resistant to TYLCV.

In the beefsteak typology, the latest development is Lanzarote, for harvesting when green, with sizes above 200 grams.

One of the markets where the company has already consolidated its position with HR is Holland, where the new materials are behaving very well.

In Spain they have varieties present in Almeria, Costa de Granada and Murcia. Herrerías continues: “We are checking how the market behaves and the response is very good, both regarding production and flavour. There are producers who have grown them for short cycle and others who are also deciding to grow them in long cycle” for a simple, but important reason: “Having varieties with high resistance is one of the solutions available that help the farmers obtain profitability and a good level of quality and volume.”

However, the Solanaceae Product Manager at Enza Zaden recalls that “having resistance does not mean forgetting to take preventive and plant protection steps. It is important to continue taking care of this topic. The eradication of the virus will be possible with the combination of varieties with High Resistance and plant protection steps.”

With other resistance levels, the virus is slowed down to a lesser extent and does not disappear and, therefore, production is lost and the problem continues to multiply. However, under the normal pressure of the virus, the High Resistance reached by Enza Zaden means that the virus will not multiply inside the plant. With the root system of the HR plants the virus does not multiply and the plants are not hosts.

Herrerías advises not grafting while there is no HR rootstock. At Enza Zaden they are working to obtain a rootstock with high resistance as soon as possible. He also advances that more new developments with high resistance are on the way in vine tomatoes, Canary type M-G for selling loose and cocktail tomatoes.


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