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Philoseed and NRgene collaborate to create varieties resistant to ToBRFV

NRGene and Philoseed are pleased to announce their collaboration for DNA marker-based ToBRFV trait integration using NRGene’s genomic technology.

The identified tomato resistance source for ToBRFV by Philoseed (patent filed) will be mapped using an ultra density genetic map. A set of DNA markers covering the entire tomato genome will then be used to introduce the ToBRFV trait efficiently into Philoseed’s diverse tomato varieties while minimizing introgression of additional genetic components from the TBRFV resistant tomato donor.

NRGene’s genomics, coupled with Philoseed’s breeding qualities, will accelerate the breeding process for ToBRFV resistance and the release of new commercial varieties is expected during 2022. Resistant tomato lines and the DNA marker sets will be available commercially to all tomato seed companies for fast trait integration.

Tobamoviruses are a genus of plant viruses that constitute a significant threat to vegetable and ornamental crops around the world. The new Tobamovirus strain, first found in Jordan and Israel around 2014-2015 was designated, the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV).

Tomato plants infected with ToBRFV yield fruits of extremely poor quality and low commercial value. The ToBRFV is easily transmitted by mechanical means, which facilitates its rapid spread, and makes it difficult to control. Transmission of the ToBRFV is also likely to occur through infected seeds and therefore seed shipment from infected countries is heavily affected.

NRGene’s advanced multi-purpose breeding platform is an AI cloud-based solution for managing the full genomic diversity of species. It can analyze unlimited volumes of genomic data, enabling scientists and breeders to easily relate genomic sequences with beneficial traits, making genomic selection and trait mapping much more productive. Data use is accelerated, making breeding both faster and more cost-effective.

Philoseed has expertise and vast experience in combining its unique tomato genetic material to enable the identification of extremely strong resistance to the ToBRFV. Crossing this resistance source with its advanced commercial lines is expected to give Philoseed a significant edge in the markets in which it is active. Philoseed has already started backcrossing it into its leading lines.

“This collaboration will enable us to accelerate the integration of the genomic region for our unique ToBRFV resistance source into commercial genetic background using markers-assisted breeding techniques”, said Dr. Ehud Kopeliovitch, Breeding Manager at Philoseed and an internationally recognized tomato breeder. He added “It will let us launch new tomato varieties with strong resistance for this virus in a short period of time”. Amit Schwarz, CEO & Marketing Manager at Philoseed, commented, “As soon as Philoseed launches this new resistant variety series, we will be able to increase our share in targeted markets”.

“We are excited to collaborate with Philoseed and jointly fight the Tobamovirus spread,” said Dr. Gil Ronen, NRGene’s CEO. “NRGene’s long-term investment into building genomic tools in tomato, including the first pangenome for fresh tomatoes, has now been repaid by our ability to map and introduce this important trait in record time”.

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