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PHILOSEED and NRGENE collaborate to create ToBRFV resistant varieties

23/11/2020 - Press release , François-Xavier Branthôme
Release of new commercial varieties expected during 2022

PHILOSEED and NRGENE collaborate to create varieties resistant to tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV); NRGene’s genomic AI solutions will be used for marker-assisted integration of ToBRFV resistance into Philoseed’s advanced commercial tomato varieties.

On November 16th, 2020, NRGene and Philoseed announced their collaboration for DNA marker based ToBRFV trait integration using NRGene’s genomic technology.
The identified tomato resistance source for ToBRFV by Philoseed (patent filed) will be mapped using an ultra-density genetic map. A set of DNA markers covering the entire tomato genome will then be used to introduce the ToBRFV trait efficiently into Philoseed’s diverse tomato varieties while minimizing introgression of additional genetic components from the TBRFV resistant tomato donor. NRGene’s genomics, coupled with Philoseed’s breeding qualities, will accelerate the breeding process for ToBRFV resistance and the release of new commercial varieties is expected during 2022. Resistant tomato lines and the DNA marker sets will be available commercially to all tomato seed companies for fast trait integration.

Tobamoviruses are a genus of plant viruses that constitute a significant threat to vegetable and ornamental crops around the world. The new Tobamovirus strain, first found in Jordan and Israel around 2014-2015 was designated, the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV).
Tomato plants infected with ToBRFV yield fruits of extremely poor quality and low commercial value. The ToBRFV is easily transmitted by mechanical means, which facilitates its rapid spread, and makes it difficult to control. Transmission of the ToBRFV is also likely to occur through infected seeds and therefore seed shipment from infected countries is heavily affected.

NRGene’s advanced multi-purpose breeding platform is an AI cloud-based solution for managing the full genomic diversity of species. It can analyze unlimited volumes of genomic data, enabling scientists and breeders to easily relate genomic sequences with beneficial traits, making genomic selection and trait mapping much more productive. Data use is accelerated, making breeding both faster and more cost effective.

Philoseed has expertise and vast experience in combining its unique tomato genetic material to enable the identification of extremely strong resistance to the ToBRFV. Crossing this resistance source with its advanced commercial lines is expected to give Philoseed a significant edge in the markets in which it is active. Philoseed has already started backcrossing it into its leading lines. 
This collaboration will enable us to accelerate the integration of the genomic region for our unique ToBRFV resistance source into commercial genetic background using markers-assisted breeding techniques”, said Dr. Ehud Kopeliovitch, Breeding Manager at Philoseed and an internationally recognized tomato breeder. He added “It will let us launch new tomato varieties with strong resistance for this virus in a short period of time”. Amit Schwarz, CEO & Marketing Manager at Philoseed, commented, “As soon as Philoseed launches this new resistant variety series, we will be able to increase our share in targeted markets”.
We are excited to collaborate with Philoseed and jointly fight the Tobamovirus spread”, said Dr. Gil Ronen, NRGene’s CEO. “NRGene’s long-term investment into building genomic tools in tomato, including the first pangenome for fresh tomatoes, has now been repaid by our ability to map and introduce this important trait in record time”.

About NRGene 
NRGene is a Genomics company that provides turn-key solutions. Relying on a vast proprietary database and AI-based technologies, we provide the largest seed and food companies in the world with the computational tools they need to maximize their crop yield, significantly saving them time and cost. NRGene’s tools have already been implemented by some of the leading agribiotech companies worldwide, as well as the most influential research teams in academia.
For more information please visit our website at

About Philoseed 
Philoseed is a tomato breeding company with vast experience in tomato seeds and produce marketing and was established by a group of senior experts from Israel's leading seed companies. Philoseed integrates tomato seed state-of-the-art know-how in breeding, agro-technology, and production. The company’s goal is to lead the global seed industry in the breeding of novel superior tomato varieties.
For further information please visit our website at

Source: NRGene
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