The research team at Enza Zaden, an international vegetable-breeding company based in the Netherlands has identified a gene that provides high resistance to the devastating Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), also called tobamo after its genus.
ToBRFV was first discovered in 2014 and has since spread to parts of Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. It has an incubation period of two to three weeks before symptoms occur, making it an uphill battle to contain a localized spread once it begins. Plant pathologists at Enza Zaden screened new resistance genes in its wild tomato germplasm and found one gene providing high resistance against ToBRFV.
With this High Resistant (HR) level, the tomato plants tested at Enza Zaden research stations did not show any ToBRFV symptoms. Enza Zaden will protect the identity of the gene providing high resistance and the tomato varieties they will create with relevant intellectual property rights.