Biobest brings PMV®-01 to new markets

Good news for tomato growers in Austria, Hungary and Poland. The authorities in these three countries have now approved the use of PMV®-01 against Pepino Mosaic Virus in tomato under regulation (EC) N°1107/2009. Biobest, in collaboration with its local distribution partners, will commercialize the first and only authorized solution against this important viral disease.  

Since its first appearance in the late nineties, the Pepino Mosaic Virus (PepMV) has spread widely, causing damage in tomato greenhouses worldwide. A severe infestation by PepMV often results in losses of up to 30%, caused by both quality and production losses. Fortunately, growers can now protect their crop with PMV®-01. PMV®-01 can be used year round and in all tomato growing systems. One application right after planting suffices to protect the crop against PepMV during the rest of the season.

PMV®-01 is produced in Belgium by De Ceuster Meststoffen NV (DCM) and is used in the context of a complete vaccination strategy. This PMV®-01 vaccination strategy is the result of ten years of scientific research in Belgium and other European countries. First commercial experiences date back to 2011 (Belgium) and 2012 (The Netherlands) under special authorizations for emergency use. Since 2015, the product is fully registered and available in several countries. More than 3500 ha of commercial greenhouse tomatoes have already been vaccinated with PMV®-01, with excellent results.

DCM and Biobest kick-started their collaboration on PMV®-01 two years ago. In 2015, DCM granted Biobetter Maroc (Biobest’s subsidiary in Morocco) the exclusive distribution rights of PMV®-01 in Morocco. The 2015 and 2016 seasons in Morocco were a real success. One of the keys to success: delivering excellent technical support to growers throughout the entire vaccination process. While DCM sells PMV®-01 directly to growers in certain markets, Biobest and DCM have now decided to extend their collaboration in Poland, Hungary and Austria. The reason for this decision? Biobest in collaboration with its local distribution partners (Biopartner, Arpad Biokontroll and Agrotech Gartenbautechnik) stands prepared to provide high quality technical support to local growers. The season has already started, but growers who have yet to plant can still get in touch with Biobest to vaccinate their crop.

Biobest can count on a strong global network, making the company ideally placed to bring PMV®-01 to more growers. As the scope of the registration continues to expand, Biobest remains in close contact with DCM to explore new opportunities and to further develop their successful collaboration.

PepMV is a very infectious RNA-virus and is easily spread mechanically. In a non-vaccinated greenhouse, one infected plant will soon contaminate the whole greenhouse. Strict hygiene measures can reduce the disease pressure, but cannot guarantee the complete exclusion of all sources of contamination with PepMV.

Lieselotte De Bruyne, Product Manager at Biobest Belgium, explains: “This is where PMV®-01 comes in. The vaccination is based on cross-protection with a mild PepMV isolate at the start of the season. Vaccination activates the plant immune system. Once the vaccine is established, other – more aggressive viral isolates – are no longer able to infect the plant. The vaccination is accompanied by rigorous analyses before and after vaccination to guarantee optimal protection of the plants. Hygiene measures remain important as well, to prevent contamination with aggressive PepMV isolates before full protection is reached. Good hygiene also helps to prevent other bacterial and fungal diseases.”

For more information, contact:
Koen Van Elsen - koen.vanelsen@biobest.be (Poland, Hungary)
Dirk Aerts – dirk.aerts@biobest.be (Austria)

For more information on registration of PMV®-01 in other countries, contact:
Lieselotte De Bruyne – lieselotte.debruyne@biobestgroup.com

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