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Resistance to Fusarium in lettuce

Meet Rijk Zwaan’s Fusarium Defense varieties! They are equipped with resistance against the notorious Fusarium threat. This soil borne fungus attacks lettuce via the root system, causing serious damage in both protected and open fields, resulting in significant loss of yield.

Harvest the benefits of Fusarium Defense

Resistance to Fusarium

The Rijk Zwaan lettuce breeding team is developing resistance against individual Fusarium races Fol 1, 2, 3, 4, and their combinations.

Healthy crop

Fusarium resistance is available across a range of lettuce types, marking a significant leap forward in our pursuit of healthier crops.

More secure production

Safeguard your crops and cultivate with peace of mind using Fusarium Defense varieties, ensuring higher yields and secure supply.


Lettuce varieties with
Fusarium Defense

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae (Fol) – is a major threat in lettuce. The fungus can damage the lettuce via the root system in both protected and open field crops, resulting in a loss of yield. Four official variants of Fusarium in lettuce appear in different regions throughout the world; Fol: 1-4. Rijk Zwaan has found resistance to Fol: 1 and Fol: 4. This discovery has resulted in an assortment of resistant varieties which are available under the Fusarium Defense label.

Resistance levels in Fusarium Defense

Lettuce varieties with Fusarium Defense have proven resistance against Fusarium.

There are different levels of resistance

Susceptible varieties are unable to restrict the growth and/or development of Fusarium. This leads to major losses in yield and allows the further spread of the fungi.

Varieties with Intermediate Resistance (IR) restrict the growth and/or development of Fusarium to some extent. These varieties may, however, exhibit symptoms and/or damage under normal disease pressure.

Varieties with High Resistance (HR) significantly restrict the growth and/or development of Fusarium under normal disease pressure. However, HR varieties might show symptoms under extreme conditions because high resistance is not the same as immunity. Immunity is when a plant root system is not subject to fungal infection. There are no lettuce varieties with immunity to Fusarium.

You will find the strength of the resistance, high resistance (HR) or intermediate resistance (IR) clearly mentioned in the variety descriptions.

Fusarium in susceptible lettuce varieties

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae (Fol) is the pathogen causing “Fusarium wilt”, a soil-borne disease that affects a wide range of plants, including lettuce

In the case of lettuce, Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae manifests as wilting, yellowing, and stunting of the plant. The fungus infects the vascular system of the plant, leading to blockage of water and nutrient transport. This results in the typical symptoms of wilting and yellowing of leaves, and in severe cases, the collapse of the entire plant.

Minimising the risk of spread

Strict hygiene measures and a clean start remain essential for a successful crop. Rijk Zwaan considers HR varieties in combination with good hygiene to be the best solution for preventing losses caused by Fusarium wilt.

Rijk Zwaan stated that it was a strong advocate of an integral approach to combating plant diseases in order to reduce the use of chemicals.

Although resistant varieties play an important role in this, the company also advises the use of crop protection agents and hygiene measures to prevent new Fusarium variants from developing.

Good hygiene practices such as removing crop residues and diseased plants can help to limit the spread of Fusarium in lettuce.


Trials prove the

Over the past years, our breeding and commercial teams ran many field trials in collaboration with our esteemed partners. These trials confirmed resistance against Fol: 1 and Fol: 4. This resistance has been bred into different lettuce types.
Keen to know more about our Fusarium resistance? Please contact us.
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Keen to know more about our Fusarium resistance? Please contact us.
Rijk Zwaan Australia