Lettuce breeders reveal downy mildew resistance

A number of lettuce breeders have recently confirmed that many of their varieties have resistance to the latest named race of Bremia downy mildew in lettuce – Bl:37EU.

Last year the European Commission of the International Bremia Evaluation Board (IBEB-EU) identified a widely occurring new variant of downy mildew in lettuce, which was formally named Bl:37EU on 1 June 2021. The new variant of Bremia lactucae has been found across France in recent years, and more recently in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and the IBEB-EU expects the race to spread further in the summer and autumn of this year.

Rijk Zwaan has confirmed that large majority of Rijk Zwaan’s current lettuce varieties are resistant to the new race of downy mildew. In addition, Enza Zaden said in a statement, ‘Our tests confirm that a large part of the Enza Zaden lettuce portfolio is resistant to this new race. Many of our varieties even are resistant to the full range Bl:16-37EU.’

Bejo also announced that its varieties are resistant to the new variant, with Gerhard Voelkel, Bejo’s Crop Manager for lettuce, commenting, “Our current varieties, which are already on the market for over five years, are resistant against this new Bremia race. We are confident that the reliability of our varieties offers growers the best available protection for the future.” BASF also offers a wide range of lettuce varieties, with broad resistance patterns and most resistant to this new race Bl:37EU. Updated resistance information of the Nunhems lettuce assortment can be found in the lettuce crop tables on the company’s website.

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