07 August 2023, UK: Bremia, commonly known as downy mildew, is a highly destructive disease that affects lettuce crops worldwide. Recently, the International Bremia Evaluation Board for the EU (IBEB-EU) announced the discovery of three new Bremia races. Specifically, these races were found in lettuce, namely Bl:38EU, BI:39EU, and BI:40EU. As a result of this development, growers are now seeking lettuce varieties that are Bremia resistant. See below, how Bejo’s lettuce seed assortment has fared against these new races.
The IBEB-EU has identified the three new Bremia races, Bl:38EU, BI:39EU, and BI:40EU, which have shown genetic variability. Notably, BI:38EU has been predominantly found in Southern Europe, while BI:39EU has been more prevalent in Northern Europe. BI:40EU has spread across the entire continent. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that BI races 16-28EU have not been found in recent years. So much so, that resistance is no longer considered essential for commercial communications.
In light of these discoveries, Bejo conducted tests on its lettuce seed assortment and obtained promising results. Nearly all of Bejo’s commercial lettuce varieties, which were previously resistant to Bl:16-37EU, have also exhibited resistance to the new races Bl:16-40EU, or now BI:29-40EU—the updated description for high resistant varieties. These findings bring reassurance to growers, as they highlight Bejo’s continued reliability in providing lettuce varieties that offer the best protection against Bremia
Ilona Claassen, Bejo’s junior area Crop Manager for lettuce, states, “Despite the identification of three new Bremia races, nearly all of our current high resistant varieties are still highly resistant after the denomination of these new Bremia races. We are confident to remain a committed partner for growers by supplying reliable lettuce varieties that offer the best available protection. We will continue to breed for the best possible Bremia resistances in our future generation of lettuce varieties. Next to resilience, quality and other important resistances, of course.”
The Importance of Bremia Resistance
Bremia, or downy mildew, poses a significant threat to lettuce crops, leading to potential yield losses and economic setbacks for growers. Utilizing Bremia-resistant lettuce varieties is crucial in safeguarding crops against this disease. While breeding companies like Bejo provide growers with resistant lettuce varieties, it’s essential to remember that resistance alone does not guarantee immunity to Bremia infections.
Adopting an Integrated Approach
To protect lettuce crops effectively, growers must embrace an integrated approach, which includes hygienic measures, the proper use of chemical control, and the selection of resistant varieties. These measures work together synergistically to minimize the risk of Bremia infections and combat the emergence of new races. Given the increasing number of identified races this year, a comprehensive strategy becomes even more critical.
Learn More about Bejo’s Lettuce Seed Assortment and Resistance Packages
For detailed information on Bejo’s lettuce assortment and their current resistance packages, growers can reach out to Lisa Tokelove. Additionally, all resistance package details for each iceberg variety can be found in the table below.
|29 – 40 EU
Bremia-resistant lettuce varieties are a fundamental component of protecting lettuce crops from the damaging effects of downy mildew. Bejo’s ongoing commitment to breeding for the best possible Bremia resistances ensures that growers have access to reliable and resilient lettuce varieties. By adopting an integrated approach, incorporating hygienic practices, chemical control, and resistant varieties, growers can enhance the protection of their lettuce crops against Bremia infections, even with the emergence of new races. Bejo continues to be a trusted partner for growers, providing the best available protection and support for their lettuce cultivation needs.
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