13 May 2015

New European Bremia strain recognised

New Downy Mildew strain Bl:32

With effect from May 11 2015 the International Bremia Evaluation Board (IBEB) has officially named a new official strain of Bremia lactucae (Downy Mildew). Part of Rijk Zwaan’s lettuce range is resistant to this strain.

IBEB consists of representatives of the Dutch and French seed business associations Plantum NL and UFS, and the organisations of GEVES and Naktuinbouw. IBEB is supported by several Bremia investigators across Europe.

Bl:32 has been found in North Western Europe for the past few years, and has recently spread to Portugal and Spain.

The spread of this new strain is mainly limited to Europe and as such it is not of major significance to Australian growers. However the announcement of a new strain serves as a reminder that although Rijk Zwaan as a breeding company endeavours to supply growers with lettuce varieties resistant to all official strains and locally discovered isolates, this is not always full insurance against Bremia.

Rijk Zwaan advocates an integrated approach to Bremia management; resistant varieties are a large part of this, but disease controls and hygiene measures are also important to help prevent the development of new Bremia races. Proper hygiene practices, such as removal of debris and diseased plants, will reduce the spread of Bremia in lettuce crops.

For more information on Bl:32 please see the official press release  or contact your local technical sales representative.

Official IBEB Press Release