Our new blight resister is a tomato!

In recent years, trying to grow tomatoes outdoors has been a waste of time. But now you can plant a new variety,Crimson Crush, confident that it will cope when the potato/tomato blight strikes in June or July each year.

Crimson Crush is a cordon (indeterminate) tomato with large fruits and a good flavour and is available as seedlings from Suttons Seeds.

The research behind this new variety was a collaboration between the Sarvari Research Trust, Bangor University and an independent breeder, Simon Crawford of Burpee Europe.  The project was part funded by a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) of the EU to James Stroud, a PhD student supervised by BU crop breeder, Katherine Steele.

Breeding material was screened for molecular markers, indicating the presence of resistance genes known to be effective against Phytophthora infestans.  In Crimson Crush, the resistance genes Ph-2  and Ph-3 are present.  This combination confers improved resistance to the strains of blight that have arisen in recent years.

Katherine, James and Simon show the tomato trial at Henfaes Research Centre to Medwyn Williams