Thanks to Seminis® bell pepper varieties with X10R®, many Southeastern U.S. farmers’ bell pepper fields are not being infected by yield-robbing bacteria leaf spot. Seminis® bell pepper varieties with X10R® were developed through conventional breeding technology to provide resistance to races 0-10 of bacteria leaf spot, giving peace of mind to growers who are challenged with the disease.
Bacteria leaf spot, also known as Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, is most common in the fall season, especially during hurricane season. In the fall of 2012, some production areas of the U.S. East Coast – especially Florida and Georgia – were affected by race 6 of bacteria leaf spot. In some cases, 50% or more of the marketable yield can be destroyed by the disease.
Greg Hardison, Eastern U.S. Technology Development Manager for Monsanto Company’s Vegetable Seeds Division, says the Seminis® bell pepper varieties with X10R® are showing some great results. “The X10R® bell pepper varieties from Seminis are withstanding the disease much better than varieties without the resistance traits,” explained Hardison. “Varieties without the resistance traits are showing foliage infection and damage which is leading to a reduction in crop yield and quality.” Because bacteria leaf spot can be unpredictable from year to year, some farmers are particularly thankful they decided to plant Seminis® bell pepper varieties with X10R® in 2012.
Chris Rawl of Rawl Farms in Lexington, South Carolina experienced high bacteria leaf spot pressure in several of his fields this season. But he says that PS 09942815 and PS 09979325 pepper varieties performed well despite the heavy disease pressure. “The Seminis X10R® varieties were excellent compared to the other varieties we planted,” explained Rawls. “We got exceptional yield on those fields with X10R® varieties.”
Jason Bullard of Bullard Farms in Adel, Georgia also planted two varieties of Seminis® bell peppers with X10R® (PS 09942815 and PS 09979325) on his farm this season and incorporated a spray program to help manage bacteria leaf spot. “We had really high bacteria leaf spot pressure this season and the two Seminis® pepper varieties with X10R® really held up well under the disease pressure,” said Bullard. “The yields were very good compared with the non-resistant varieties we planted.”
University of Georgia Plant Pathology Associate Professor David Langston had the opportunity to test two of the Seminis bell peppers with X10R® in 2010 and 2011(PS 09954288 and PS 09942815). “We inoculated the two Seminis varieties with race 10 of bacteria leaf spot and significantly reduced disease symptoms to barely detectable levels – the Seminis X10R® peppers showed very good resistance,” explained Professor Langston. “The options for controlling bacteria leaf spot are very limited and Seminis bell peppers with X10R® are the only seed option available with bacteria leaf spot resistance to races 0-10.”
If timed right, farmers can mitigate the effects of bacteria leaf spot with a dedicated spray program, but peppers with X10R® are intended to enable growers to reduce the number of sprays targeted at controlling bacteria leaf spot. “Bacteria leaf spot can hit at any time during the season,” explained Hardison. “But our pepper varieties with X10R® help keep the disease at bay the whole season.”
Seminis® currently offers three open field bell pepper varieties with X10R® bacteria leaf spot resistance: PS 09942815 (intermediate resistance) and PS 09954288 (high resistance) for the Georgia and Carolinas markets and most recently PS 09979325 (intermediate resistance) for the Florida market. “We also have another exciting pepper variety with X10R® resistance that will be commercialized in 2013: PS 09983255 (intermediate resistance),” said Hardison.
About Monsanto Company’s Vegetable Seeds Division
Monsanto Company’s Vegetable Seeds Division is focused on innovation to improve the quality and productivity of vegetables grown from our seeds. The company develops products intended to offer new, healthy choices for consumers. Monsanto Company invests in research and development and uses the latest technology not only to deliver the best products to the consumer, but also to provide yield and value to the customer, the grower, and to their customers, the chain partners. Monsanto Company’s Vegetable Seeds Division is represented through the Seminis® and De RuiterTM seed brands. For more information about Monsanto Company’s Vegetable Seeds Division, please visit www.monsantovegetableseeds.com.
HR = High Resistance: The ability of a plant variety to highly restrict the activities of a specific pathogen or insect pest and/or to restrict the symptoms and signs of a disease, when compared to susceptible varieties. Varieties with high resistance may exhibit some symptoms when specified pathogen or pest pressure is severe. New and/or atypical strains of the specific pathogen or pest may overcome the resistance.
IR = Intermediate Resistance: The ability of a plant variety to restrict the growth and development of the specified pest or pathogen, but may exhibit a greater range of symptoms compared to varieties with high resistance. Intermediate Resistant plant varieties will still show less severe symptoms or damage than susceptible plant varieties when grown under similar environmental conditions.
Monsanto imagine® and Vine Design® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC. Seminis® is a registered trademark of Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc. De Ruiter® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Invest N.V. ©2012 Monsanto Company.