At the end of 2021, HM.Clause will complement its range of products with four new varieties of zucchini “NO-ND – New Delhi resistance”. They are specially designed for the Mediterranean region and they are suitable for diverse agronomic and climate conditions. Besides this strong resistance, the “NO-ND – New Delhi resistance” range will feature high-level agronomic performance: productivity, fruit quality, great plant vigor that facilitates management, adaptability to cold and heat, excellent post-harvest preservation.
The rollout of the “NO-ND” range will be structured in different phases. In spring 2021, HM.CLAUSE is launching two varieties in Italy: HMC 24251 and HMC 24382. Then, two new varieties, HMC 24440 and HMC 24444 will be launched in Spain in Summer 2021 and in Italy in Fall 2021.
A new virus that heavily affects zucchini production
For eight years in the Mediterranean area, the ToLCNDV - or Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus - has been causing massive damage to zucchini crops, attacking leaves and fruits throughout the development stages of the plant.
“Transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, this virus spreads quickly, it reduces and then stops the production, making the fruits unfit for consumption. It is a major problem for zucchini producers in the Mediterranean area. In 2013, HM.CLAUSE first identified this virus thanks to a close collaboration between its development teams and the key producers of each country. Thanks to this early identification of the virus, we have quickly implemented a global response strategy at a corporate level”, reports Fabien Lauret, Zucchini Product Manager.
A race against time
HM.Clause operates daily to provide its customers with concrete solutions and help them sustainably succeed in their activities. Well aware of the challenge, HM.Clause teams fully mobilized to search their natural genetic resources for resistances derived from wild squash, in order to integrate them into commercialized varieties.
“Innovation is the core of our breeding activities,“ said Julien Mazet, HM.Clause Zucchini Breeder. “We ran a real race against time to be the first ones to provide our producers with performing and efficient genetic solutions. The biodiversity of the species allowed us to identify a solid source of resistance, which we then trialed through tests and markers developed by our laboratories. It takes time and ingenuity to integrate a resistance derived from a wild squash - which is very different from the zucchini we are all used to - and breed plants suitable to the agronomic conditions of the market. Without the responsiveness and perseverance of HM.Clause teams, we wouldn’t have been able to succeed today”.
Once the Research and Development phase was over, the production trials went faster. “For the past two years, HM.Clause has been conducting trials on its “NO-ND – New Delhi resistance” varieties with its farming partners in Spain and Italy. They all confirmed the performance of the resistance in real-life conditions and the quality of the proposed varieties,” added Fabien Lauret.
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