ToBRFV is spreading around the globe with major impact on producers of Solanaceae crops. Syngenta is taking utmost care to prevent supply of material with ToBRFV via high sanitary measures, intensive testing and following all international seed trading standards. We believe in transparency, collaboration and technical support towards the industry.

What is ToBRFV?

ToBRFV (Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus) is the newest member in the Tobamovirus family. It breaks existing resistances in tomato like Tm2-2 and makes Pepper a potential source of infection. Symptoms caused by ToBRFV in tomato are like those caused by other Tobamoviruses in susceptible plants: mosaic pattern on leaves, narrowing of leaves, necrosis on pedicle, calyces or petioles and/or yellow spots on the fruits.

Fruit, tobacco, host plants (e.g. ornamentals), crop handling and seeds are potential sources of spread of Tobamoviruses. It is known that risks from mechanical transmission are larger than that of seed to seedling transmission. Especially when the seeds have been going though health treatments and the seed-skin has been disinfected.

What measures does Syngenta take to provide clean seeds?

To produce high quality seeds, Syngenta runs seed productions under very strong hygiene measures and with professional growers, up-to-date technology and preferably in remote locations to protect it from disease pressure and other sorts of contaminations.

Syngenta follows the directions from the International Seed Federation (ISF) and their ISHI-Veg methods for Seed Health testing. These are internationally recognized as reference methods and accepted as industry standards. Working under NAL accreditation, all our Tomato and Pepper materials are restricted from trading, until proven to be free of pathogens.

We have seen that the levels of infection and symptoms can be different between varieties within our portfolio. Resistances have been observed in our internal screenings and we are working to deploy this across our portfolio using modern technology, as quickly as we can.

Advice for working “in the field” ?

As mentioned, Syngenta is taking utmost care to prevent delivery of material with ToBRFV to customers or growers using high sanitary measures and applying international seed trading standards like ISHI, NAL or NSHS.

Syngenta’s customer relations teams are continuously up to date on the industry hygiene protocols and realize that an infection with ToBRFV is very easily spread. For example via footwear, clothing or jewelry. Adhering to extreme hygiene rules when visiting a plant raiser or producer of seeds or fresh product is in the interest of the whole vegetable industry. They will alert/advise growers when a gap in sanitary application is observed during a visit. They are advised to have own protective clothing when visiting customers.

When a customer suspects an infection by ToBRFV, it is advised to give rapid follow-up with testing (Immunostrip and/or laboratory) and to connect with a Syngenta representative who will be able to consult with other functions in Syngenta.

Visible symptoms of ToBRFV on leaf, stam and fruit (tomato).

ToBRFV on leaf

ToBRFV on stam

ToBRFV on fruit