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Thorben Looije, Valto

"Double protection provides significantly more security"

Thanks to strict hygiene measures and by making use of the right crop protection agents, the highly destructive Pepino mosaic virus can be controlled in tomato cultivation in the Netherlands. The whole world is looking with interest at the biological V10 agent from Valto, which offers a unique double protection against the dreaded virus.

Protected by cross protection
V10 is comprised of two mild strains of the Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV), VX1 and VC1. Thorben Looije: "By infecting tomato plants with these mild strains, their immune system is triggered. This means they're no longer susceptible to the aggressive strains, which generally lead to major quality and production loss. Compare it to a flu shot for humans. By vaccinating with a weak strain, antibodies are generated against the heavier types of flu. By using cross protection, plants treated with V10 are vaccinated against the most common PepMV types, i.e. EU, LP and CH2. The agent also suppresses the symptoms of US1 (CH1)."

Two is better than one
Thorben Looije further discusses the double protection: "This offers growers more security than when their plants were to be treated with just one strain. Because then there's a real chance of the plant getting infected after all with one of the other strains, with all the negative consequences. Sometimes it is mistakenly thought that the European strain, which was abundantly present in the past, has been replaced by the Chilean strain, and that vaccinating with one strain would be sufficient to protect crops. The European strain is still found every year though, and even seems to be making a comeback in plants that haven't been vaccinated against EU."

Plants recover fast
Valto conducts research continuously. Those tests show that for the plant it doesn't matter whether it's vaccinated with one or two mild strains. Thorben: "Plants that have been treated with two strains, recover equally fast and well as plants that have been treated with just one strain, but they are protected significantly better. A precondition for good vaccination is that the agent is applied correctly." Growers can count on instructions from Valto. Weeks after vaccination, the crops are checked by taking random samples to see if the agent did its job.

Temporary approval
V10 again has temporary approval in the Netherlands, and hopes to get definitive approval shortly. Approval procedures are underway in several other countries.

For more information:
+31(0)174 51 45 19
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