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Snack tomato grower Westburg chooses data platform for now and the future

A few months ago, snack tomato grower Westburg chose the PYLOT data platform as their preferred choice for the future. We asked Bas van Leeuwen about the reasons for this choice and their first experiences. Brothers Bas and Ton van Leeuwen from the Dutch company Westburg, located in Limburg, grow five…

Rijk Zwaan highlights the importance of shared entrepreneurship in cucumber breeding

"You can plant the seed yourself, but true growth is achieved together"

Vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan has been active in cucumbers since 1937, and partnerships have always been of paramount importance, ensuring continuous innovation and new cucumber varieties with the right resistances and agronomical traits. That is the key message in Rijk Zwaan’s first video in its…

Growing a better strawberry

Chances are, that deep red, plump, ripe strawberry bursting with flavor that you picked fresh off the plant at your local farm was a Chandler, or possibly a Camarosa. In a couple of years, it might be a Rocco or a Liz, perhaps a Ruby June. Wait a decade, and it could be NC-19-16. Spring is strawberry season in North Carolina.…

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How hybrid plant varieties could address the challenges of food security

Hybrid agricultural and horticultural crops can play an essential role in supporting global food security. They produce higher yields and are often more resistant than non-hybrid varieties to diseases and climate stress. But for many crops, no hybrid varieties are available. Why is that? Maize is a…

Ghana: WACCI calls for strategic investments in tomato seed systems

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) has called for strategic investments in the seed systems of six staple crops in Ghana for agricultural and industrial transformation. The six crops are rice, maize, soybean, cowpea, tomato, and cassava. This came to light after a two-day meeting…

New Genetic Technology Bill will support more sustainable agriculture

Crop science organization NIAB has welcomed the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the UK Government will bring forward new primary legislation, The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill, to take certain precision breeding techniques out of the scope of restrictive GMO rules - where the…

© Iuliia Zavalishina | Dreamstime.com

Chinese scientists report new progress in carotenoid biofortification in tomato products

Tomatoes are one of the most important vegetables, and China is the largest tomato producer in the world. In recent years, climate change and resource shortages have constituted new challenges to the tomato industry. With the improvement of living standards and health awareness, consumers have an…

© Lovelyday12 | Dreamstime.com

12,000 seed varieties return to earth after space trip

About 12,000 seeds carried by the Shenzhou XIII manned spaceship have returned to Earth after being bred in space and will be cultivated into greater varieties to supplement new germplasm resources and ensure national food security. The "passengers" during the six-month space trip included seeds of…

Enza Zaden already has a complete portfolio of varieties with high resistance to tomato brown rugose virus

"Only high resistance can stop the spread of ToBRFV"

In 2020, Enza Zaden announced that it had discovered the gene for high resistance to the devastating tomato brown rugose virus. Two years later, the seed company already has a complete portfolio of different types of highly resistant tomato varieties. This was the message that stood out the most at the…

E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s Tomato Man on mission to help others rethink tomatoes

To Bob Zeni, a perfectly round and perfectly red store-bought tomato is something to look at but not to touch. In fact, Zeni hasn’t purchased a tomato since 1990. He grows his own heirloom tomatoes to avoid buying what he calls “tasteless travesties” or “red water balloons.” “Gardening itself is very…

Tozer Seeds' expansion to North America

"Innovation has continued to drive us since our inception in 1944"

Breeding company Tozer Seeds is the largest independent and family-owned vegetable breeding company in the U.K. They can reflect on a total of 78 years in the industry. In a small town just southwest of London, Tozer was founded on the fundamental principles of great people, exceptional plant breeding,…

Crops & DNA: intriguing and crucial to boost innovation

Ever since the research by Rosalind Franklin, Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins, which led to the unraveling of the helix structure of DNA in the fifties of the last century, many were intrigued by the astonishing biology and biochemistry around DNA. It has inspired and still inspires many…

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Space seed breeding makes breakthrough, yielding nearly 1,000 new species

With the return of the crew of China's spacecraft Shenzhou-13, a total of 12,000 seeds finished their space breeding journey, which is expected to enhance food security, as seeds are as important as chips in the semiconductor industry. Clover, oats, rice, edible mushrooms, and cabbage seeds were carried…

New study shows:

"Plant Variety Rights have a significant positive impact on European Union’s economic growth and environmental sustainability"

A new European study highlighting the impact of the Community Plant Variety Rights system (CPVR) on the EU economy and the environment was presented today in Angers, France, where the Community plant variety Office (CPVO) has its seat. “Impact of the CPVR system on the European Union economy and the…

Friso Klok, Rijk Zwaan:

"Vietnam is doing well in the horticultural field"

The greenhouse design is being finalized and next year Rijk Zwaan hopes to open a new R&D Station in Da Lat, Vietnam's main horticultural region. "At this location we will select varieties for the protected market in Vietnam and the Southeast Asia region," says Friso Klok of Rijk Zwaan Vietnam. He has…

Syngenta’s “eat-it-all” cauliflower receives bronze Innovation Award at Fruit Logistica 2022

Syngenta Seeds’ “eat-it-all” cauliflower, the iStem, was awarded the bronze trophy in Fruit Logistica’s prestigious Innovation Awards this year. iStem is unique as the first edible stem cauliflower. It has the benefit of a high yield for growers, and appeals to consumers with its sweet, nutty curds, high…

Eating Well

Crops scientists are looking to wild varieties to improve heat and drought resistance

In 1999, a plant breeder stumbled upon a wild white carrot that might just change the future of how crops are grown. Philipp Simon,Ph.D., a professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had just arrived in Izmir, Turkey, a city on the coast of the Aegean Sea. He was there on the hunt…

"Almost all the varieties currently grown in the world originate in one of these two regions"

Italian and Spanish farmers have been key in the history of today's tomato

A study carried out within the framework of the European Traditom project, led by the Institute of Molecular Biology (IBMCP), a joint center of the Universitat Politècnica de…

Rens Knieriem, Rijk Zwaan:

China: "Capital and passion alone is not enough – you also need knowledge"

Horticulture is ‘booming’ in China. The Asian country has an increasing number of modern greenhouses. That’s something that Rens Knieriem, Business Manager Asia at Rijk Zwaan, has also noticed. He’s responsible for the Asian market with the seed supplier, so he can tell us all about the latest…

© Shaiith | Dreamstime.com

India exempts certain gene-edited crops from biosafety assessment

India’s government has issued an order exempting certain gene-edited plants from stringent biosafety regulations. The move exempts SDN1 and SDN2 plants from the regulations currently imposed on the commercialization of genetically modified transgenic crops. Regulators would instead rely on the…

Retailers experience new Sekoya blueberries at event in Spain

Retailers, supermarkets and licensees of Sekoya®® were able to experience and taste Sekoya Pop™ ('FCM14-052') and Sekoya Beauty™ ('FCM12-097') blueberry varieties at the company’s Field & Forum, held on March 24, next to other open and other Fall Creek varieties. During the visit to the research and…

Tozer’s Dutch seed business is fully operational

Tozer announces, that from April 1st, its newest subsidiary in the Netherlands will be completely operational. Tozer Seeds Netherlands (TSN) was set up in April 2021 to mitigate the delays and uncertainties with exports due to Brexit. For the last year it has supplied vegetable seed across Europe but it…

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Identification of tomato accessions as source of new genes for improving heat tolerance

Due to global warming, the search for new sources for heat tolerance and the identification of genes involved in this process has become an important challenge as of today. The main objective of the current research was to verify whether the heat tolerance determined in controlled greenhouse experiments…

Syngenta Group reports 2021 performance, growing 23%

Syngenta Group today announced full year and fourth quarter 2021 results. Sales for full year 2021 grew 23 percent ($5.2 billion) year-on-year to $28.2 billion. EBITDA for…

Seed treatment project involving Bangor University aims for more sustainable future

A more sustainable and eco-conscious method of treating vegetable seeds is the focus of a multi-partner research project involving a UK seed producer and Bangor University. Tozer Seeds have linked up with the university’s Biocomposites Centre to develop alternative seed treatments which are aiming to…

Sweetness of Tribelli peppers is coming to big fairs of sector

This April, Tribelli peppers are landing at the major events of the agri-food sector. The brand is participating as an exhibitor at Alimentaria, the food fair that is taking place in Barcelona from 4 to 7 April, as well as at Fruit Logistica, an international fruit and vegetable event that is taking…

For plant geneticists, some genes are double the trouble

When plant geneticists find a gene that improves crop yields, they want to try to insert that same change into other crops. But Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor and HHMI Investigator Zachary Lippman cautions that just knowing what a single gene does is not enough. He discovered that it pays to…

Lauren Lively/Cronkite News

Extinction is forever: Seed banks build biodiversity

With a changing climate causing extreme weather conditions – such as California’s unruly wildfires and Arizona’s unrelenting drought – certain species that have been on the extinction list are being given a second chance through seed banks. More than 1,000 seed banks are positioned across the globe, 20…

Phenome Networks integrates breeding optimizer in software package

Phenome Networks in collaboration with KeyGene introduces PhenoGene, a  solution for plant breeders to optimize breeding strategies. PhenoGene, based upon an algorithm developed by KeyGene is now available as a novel module in the PhenomeOne software, as a decision support tool to optimize breeding strategies…

Genomics-assisted breeding tools improving, gaining users and uses

Thanks to the development and adoption of specialized computational tools, the past several years have seen major advancements in the breeding of “polyploid plants” — plants with more than two sets of chromosomes in their cells. Polyploid specialty crops, which include roses, many turfgrasses, and food…

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UK: "Parliamentary approval of new gene editing rules is a boost for crop research"

NIAB has welcomed approval by both Houses of Parliament of a Statutory Instrument which will make it easier to conduct field trial research involving plants produced by new genetic technologies, such as gene editing. The Statutory Instrument cleared its final hurdle in the House of Lords late last night, having already been approved by a…

La voz

Resistant California peppers for Almeria's entire season

Hazera Spain has a range of resistant peppers that cover the entire range of Almeria's cultivation cycles. Patrol and Evoke are California red and yellow peppers, respectively, ideal for early and extra-early cycles. These varieties are resistant to powdery mildew, produce GG/G calibers, and enter fast…

PomoDay in Sicily for a new round smooth tomato with excellent yields

With over 300 visitors, the day centered around smooth round tomatoes (SVTH5013 by Seminis, a brand of the Bayer Group) held at the "Living Proof" research station in Marina di Acate (AG), Sicily, was a great success. It was the first PomoDay for this variety, suitable for autumn-winter cycles in Sicily.…

"Latin America’s embrace of gene editing positions Americas to become big in agricultural innovation"

Over the 25 years since the introduction of GM crops in Latin America, the continent has been a battleground between proponents of biotechnology versus groups, mostly agrarian activists funded by global environmental technology skeptics in North America and Europe. Faced with these competing lobbying…

An aromatic tomato could be looming – a la heirloom varieties, say scientists

You can scarcely find a tasty, heirloom tomato in the grocery store. But University of Florida scientists helped discover a way to enhance tomato smell and taste. Breeding efforts over the last half-century have emphasized traits that are important to producers – yield, disease resistance, appearance,…

Glasshouse growers wanted for seed production

The Centrum voor Genetische Bronnen Nederland (Centre for Genetic Resources Netherlands), the Dutch gene bank, which is part of Wageningen University and Research Centre, works to preserve genetic diversity in crops and trees, among other things. In this context, the CGN is looking for greenhouse growers…

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Tomato domestication involved agricultural societies from Peru to Mexico

The plants we eat have been domesticated. There are no wild chihuahuas, in the wilderness there are wolves and, likewise, there are no wild big and juicy tomatoes, bread wheat or popcorn maize in the wild. Our forebears modified these species to adapt them to their needs, uses, and tastes. The tomato was…

Photo: courtesy Cathie Martin

Behold the purple tomato, a new designer super fruit

Fifteen years ago, in the middle of winter, Cathie Martin was impatiently waiting for her tomatoes to ripen. The John Innes Centre botanist already knew what was going to happen: Their green skin was about to turn a miraculous purple. She’d swapped out a few genes to supercharge their anthocyanin…


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