Researchers and industry stakeholders are collaborating on developing answers to a problematic tomato pest. Managing Director of the California Tomato Research Institute, Zach Bagley said that branched broomrape poses a serious threat to the industry. As a result, multiple projects are currently underway with researchers from UC Davis as well as some seed suppliers. One of the approaches being taken to address the pest is using genetics to hopefully develop resistant varieties.
“We’re very hopeful that this project within a handful of years is going to show us: where are some of those genetics? Can we find those markers? And because we’ve already from the start gotten that collaboration with seed suppliers, can they begin working that resistance into their varieties quickly?” Bagley noted. “That’s going to be, as a genetics project, a number of years out but exciting progress on that end.”
Listen to the radio report below.