Fusarium is a major threat to lettuce. The fungus can damage the lettuce via the root system in both protected and open-field crops, resulting in a loss of yield. In 2015, a new variant of Fusarium in lettuce, race 4 (Fol: 4), was identified in Europe. In May 2022, the International Seed Federation officially established a harmonized test protocol for claiming resistance to this race. Many of Rijk Zwaan's existing lettuce varieties are resistant to the new variant of Fusarium.
New Fusarium race in Europe
The newest variant of Fusarium in lettuce (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Lactuacae) was first described by Giraldi et al. in 2016. Since then, Fusarium race 4 has been discovered in many countries in Europe. It is not found on the world's other continents.
Resistances in Rijk Zwaan lettuces
"In our breeding program, we are continuously working on improving the traits of our lettuce varieties, including by developing resistance to new variants of plant diseases. Fusarium is a big threat to lettuce growers all over the world. The newly defined test protocol confirms that many of our lettuce varieties are resistant against this new race of Fusarium," comments Johan Schut, Breeding Manager Lettuce.