Israeli grower and breeder Assaf Eybishitz recently visited Sicily. He was full of praise for the tomato growers there.
He was invited as a speaker on the occasion of a thematic conference on tomato traceability (see Freshplaza of 06/27/2021). "TomaTech has devoted its energy, time and, resources over the past three years to the research of genetic material resistant to ToBRFV, also by applying the know-how acquired in Israel in the field of molecular biology."
"The Research & Development department of TomaTech has invested heavily in the development of an efficient and reliable system that would allow large-scale genotype and phenotype evaluation, and their efforts have been rewarded with excellent results. TomaTech has developed a screening system for controlled virus inoculation. The system allows the simultaneous analysis of a large amount of genetic material of different types, followed by the identification phase of resistant IR/HR material. We then proceed to introduce the resistance gene into commercial lines through advanced breeding techniques. Finally, we move on to the development of resistant hybrid varieties."
"Currently we are introducing tolerance (IR) throughout our breeding program, and at the same time, we are expanding and strengthening resistance to reach the next stage of high resistance (HR), which we hope to achieve in the near future. We have already released several resistant (IR) varieties in the main segments of the Italian market, which will be available for the next season."
On his visit to Sicily, Eybishitz was able to conduct a screening of TomaTech varieties in the province of Ragusa. One of the farms visited was that of Cilio Vincenzo in Acate (picture above), where Dormaplum variety is cultivated.
"As a seed company, we are able to develop a customized breeding activity that offers unique flavors, aromas, color, shape, and resistance to plant diseases, including ToBRFV. These are elements with which we guarantee our customers added value. We ensure genetic stability and complete solutions for all seasons and for a wide range of different environments, climates, and structures."