News Eminent Seeds

27 May 2019

News update ToBRFV

News update ToBRFV

At Eminent Seeds, quality is our top priority. The emergence of ToBRFV has given us a new reason to reassess our hygiene protocol and add extra measures to prevent viruses from spreading to our seed production. Thanks to our refined approach, and seed testing performed by an external laboratory, we can assure that our seeds are free of ToBRFV.

We would like to give you more information about the way in which we deal with the threat of ToBRFV. Through a Q&A we hope to give answers to questions that you might have about the virus and about the steps we have taken to prevent this virus from infecting our seeds.

What is ToBRFV?

ToBRFV is a relatively new virus that has first been found on tomatoes in Israel in the end of 2014. The disease is part of the tobamovirus genus. Other well-known viruses part of this genus are Tomato Mosaic Virus (ToMV), Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) and Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV). ToBRFV has been reported to infect tomatoes and peppers.

How dous the virus spread?

Like other tobamoviruses, ToBRFV is transmitted mechanically, meaning that it can travel from one plant to the other via things such as tools, greenhouse workers, infected plant parts, big insects and materials. It is important to take phytosanitary measures to prevent the spread of the virus during crop care. The virus can also spread via seeds, which is why we are reaching out to you to explain how we ensure that our seeds are free of ToBRFV.

How does Eminent Seeds prevent the spread of viruses?

At Eminent Seeds, quality is our top priority. All our plants for seed production are grown in greenhouses that keep themselves to the Good Seed and Plant Practices (GSPP) phytosanitary standards.
As it is not possible to fight viruses, all the efforts are put on preventing the disease by lowering the chance to spread it. Everybody involved with seed production or anything else is trained to work as hygienically as possible and to be aware of all the risks. During growth, all plants in the greenhouse are visually checked for symptoms of diseases.

At the end of every growth cycle we thoroughly clean the greenhouse to remove all possible sources of infection and to make a clean start of the next cycle.

What does Eminent Seeds do to guarantee their seeds are free of viruses?

Tomato seeds are extracted using acid extraction. All our seeds are cleaned using Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), which disinfects the outside of the seeds.
Next to all these measures to prevent seed-transmissible diseases from coming into our greenhouses, we check subsamples of all of our seed lots at an external laboratory. If a disease would be present, the seeds are destroyed.

It is always possible to ask our Sales department about the disease tests that have been carried out on the seed lot you are interested in. For further questions, please contact Jan van Heijningen at


Luria N, Smith E, Reingold V, Bekelman I, Lapidot M, Levin I, et al. (2017) A New Israeli Tobamovirus Isolate Infects Tomato Plants Harboring Tm-22 Resistance Genes. PLoS ONE 12 (1): e0170429.

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