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"Even more ToBRFV-resistant tomato varieties in 2024"

"The ToBRFV virus is already widespread in several countries bordering France," explains Céline Labourey, project manager for solanaceous disease resistance. "For the time being, we remain protected, thanks in particular to the prophylactic measures put in place by growers, but pressure is increasing at borders. The sale of potentially contaminated products, such as fruit in transit through France, calls for us to remain extremely vigilant. As a seed company, our strategy is to offer resistant varieties as quickly as possible, while at the same time working on more durable and stable solutions for this pathogen, as well as for other diseases.

Generalizing resistance to ToBRFV
Climundo, the first grape tomato resistant to Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), marketed this year in France, has paved the way. Other new products in this segment are expected next season. They are currently being tested in France's main production regions.

Very soon, Syngenta's offer will include even greater resistance to ToBRFV, but also other biotic stresses. All analyses show that the ToBRFV virus is not the only pathogen detected in infected crops, which means that we need to secure a broader spectrum of resistance," explain Céline Labourey and Hervé Bonich, Solanaceae Product Manager. Although this virus is currently a major concern, other diseases and pests remain at the heart of our discovery projects."

"Resistance without compromising performance"
Syngenta will be offering Duelle and Bamano continuity in 2024, elongated cherries for yield and taste quality, as well as ToBRFV-resistant rootstocks. "We want to deliver a product that corresponds to the market without making concessions on performance in terms of yield, color, and taste quality", explains Hervé Bonich.

Genetics, biovigilance, and prophylaxis
Genetic resistance is an essential asset in protecting French tomatoes from ToBRFV and other pathogens: it is one of the cornerstones of the strategy for dealing with infections. Agricultural practices, prophylaxis, and phytosanitary crop monitoring complete this approach. "Tobamoviruses, which include ToBRFV and TMV, spread mechanically," says Céline Labourey. So propagation is very rapid, and the virus is very stable, even on inert substrates.

A new range of varieties resistant to cladosporiosis
Syngenta is also developing cladosporium-resistant varieties to complete its protection offer for varieties such as Bamano, for example. New genes are arriving with a superior resistance spectrum.

Syngenta Vegetable Seeds inaugurates a new breeding center in Spain
On February 15, Syngenta inaugurated a modernized R&D center in El Ejido, Almería, Spain, in the heart of Almeria. Located in El Ejido, this global breeding innovation center plays a key role in Syngenta's ability to supply top-quality vegetable seeds to growers in Spain and abroad. The main vegetable crops bred at the center are tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers, zucchinis, and melons.

Syngenta's El Ejido site was established in 1983 and currently employs 145 people in research and development, production, and sales. The most recent investment of $3 million covers a series of improvements to the site, which centralizes seed activities in Europe, enabling Syngenta to better meet growers' needs.

In addition to El Ejido, Syngenta has also invested in the expansion of breeding operations in other regions of Spain. These include a new trial site in La Puebla, Murcia, which focuses on leafy crops and brassicas. Syngenta's commitment to bringing its activities closer to growers is an important step in fostering customer focus throughout the organization.

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