Vegetables by Bayer

ToBRFV Knowledge Center

grower holding bunch of tomatoes on a vine with ToBRFV Resistance tag

Confidence on every level – taking action against ToBRFV

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) is a viral disease impacting tomato plants that is spreading rapidly around the world. ToBRFV transmits easily, can decimate crops, and is difficult to eradicate.

At Vegetables by Bayer, our industry-leading R&D team is working to provide long-lasting, science-based solutions. We developed extensive protocols to support seed health and quality, and we’re testing new varieties under grower conditions to evaluate effectiveness.

Effort #1
Breeding efforts and testing

Effort #2
ToBRFV and the role of rootstock

Effort #3
ToBRFV resistant tomato portfolio

SHIELD - Proactive protection for every seed

Our SHIELD program focuses on the prevention and detection of pathogens, like ToBRFV, at our production and processing sites.

Preventing and detecting ToBRFV

Lessons learned in practice have proven it is possible to effectively counter ToBRFV infections. These guidelines and best management practices can help you grow non-ToBRFV and Intermediate Resistant (IR) ToBRFV varieties successfully.

To find out more about disease resistance and the applicable levels of disease resistance, visit https://worldseed.org/document/definitions-of-the-terminology-plants-pests-v-o-seed-industry-2022/

Learn why ToBRFV is a challenge for us all

Developing varieties with a high ToBRFV resistance

Our colleagues Jan Kamper, Market Development Lead, and Jan Cees Bron, Corporate Communications, tell you more about the ToBRFV virus and why it is a big challenge for us all.

Ton Allersma, Research Associate Phytopathology, tells us more about disease resistance and how we are working to develop varieties with higher resistance to ToBRFV.

Frequently asked questions about ToBRFV

Since ToBRFV was first discovered, our industry-leading R&D team has been working to find a solution to ToBRFV.

  • We are currently working towards the next-generation hybrids with High Resistance in our pipelines and commercial portfolio through combined technical paths and deployment strategies.
  • We are deploying the newest disease diagnostics technologies to assess pathogen evolution and reduce disease risk.
  • We have been actively supporting an initiative to further understand the epidemiology of ToBRFV by sequencing various strains of the virus.
  • We have a thorough testing protocol for new hybrids to support agronomic performance under a wide range of conditions (disease pressure, various environments and management conditions).

From our research to date and collaboration discussions about the virus, it seems most likely that genetic resistance achieved through plant breeding will deliver a durable resistance platform and that a vaccine may not be needed.

The International Seed Federation has established a Definition of the Terms Describing the Reaction of Plants to Pests for the Vegetable Seed Industry. The categories include Susceptibility, Intermediate Resistance (IR), and High Resistance (HR). ISF encourages vegetable seed companies to use these terms in communication with their customers to support a common understanding.

ISF defines IR as restricting the growth and/or development of the specified pest and/or the damage it causes. However, it may exhibit a greater range of symptoms or damage compared to High Resistant varieties. Intermediate Resistant plant varieties will still show less severe symptoms or damage than susceptible plant varieties when grown under similar environmental conditions and/or pest pressure.

Our IR claim is based on the fact that infected plants, even in situations where they may show zero or a low level of symptoms, can still carry and transmit the virus.

An HR claim could be considered when the growth or spread of the virus is highly restricted. (ISF)

It is important to understand that IR and HR claims are based on an infection with solely ToBRFV. Combinations of infections, e.g., Pepino Mosaic Virus and ToBRFV, are likely to show more symptoms. An HR claim does not mean the plant is immune to the virus.

Our new products with stacked genes undergo rigorous screening. Trials are carried out in real-life conditions mirroring growers’ challenging environment instead of a clean-room setup. We will release the products to the market with ToBRFV resistance only if it has achieved the intended standards. We have developed roadmaps towards the first sales of higher resistance for important glasshouse segments. This started in 2022 with beef and will continue in 2023 with cocktail round and for other segments in 2024 and 2025.

We are testing our pipeline in Wageningen where we have a quarantine compartment. We test the performance of our varieties with both viruses and under grower conditions as well as several locations around the globe in internal trial locations. This gives confidence that the resistance level we claim will work under growers’ conditions provided the grower has also taken all necessary measures. This is supported by extensive trialing across glasshouse and greenhouse environments naturally exposed to individual and joint virus pressure in the major global markets.

Stay up to date about ToBRFV

Need more information?

This browser is no longer supported. Please switch to a supported browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari.