New tomato varieties resist diseases, pests

New tomato varieties resist diseases, pests

Agricultural researchers from Cornell University in New York developed tomato varieties with unique combinations of genetic resistance to diseases and insect pests which can damage crops and cause crop loss. Ten new lines have been released to seed companies for commercial development.

Using these varieties, farmers can better control bacterial and fungal diseases and pests through the tomatoes’ built-in resistance and reduce the use of chemicals such as fungicides, insecticides and copper. This reduces the risk of chemical residues in the environment and on the produce.

The lines include resistance to insects thanks to the identification of a wild tomato species in South America that naturally repels pests. Using cross-breeding techniques with commercial tomato varieties, the research team created tomato lines that protect against insects such as western flower thrips, sweet potato white fly, green peach aphid and leaf miner species that can feed on crops and transmit disease.

The tomatoes’ disease resistance abilities make them resistant to diseases such as bacterial speck, bacterial spot, late and early blight and Septoria leaf spot.

Link to full statement on website: