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Genesis Seeds Fights Downy Mildew with New Basil Varieties

Seeds form a significant part of agricultural inputs, and their production is considered the engine that powers farming worldwide. Many farmers, though, feel they are at the mercy of large suppliers, which also provide them additional products such as pesticides and fertilizers.
Anyone familiar with the seed industry knows how complex and lengthy the development and production processes are, extending over several years of hard work and experimenting. That’s why most major players invest mainly in “commodity” crops that can later be sold in large quantities such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc.
Very few choose to channel R&D budgets and resources into niche crops like herbs, which target mainly the home garden or gourmet sectors.
From the day it was founded, Genesis Seeds, imposed two important rules on its credo:
• To bring to the market only organic products developed and processed to benefit the future of our planet.
• To invest in R&D for niche crops too, so as to provide customers (and itself) products of high quality and resistance.

Season after season growers face the uncertainty of their yields being affected by a wide range of fungi and other diseases that attack plants at various phenological stages, requiring prevention and treatment with pesticides.
Genesis Seeds understands these issues in depth and, aiming to produce seeds with different types of resistance, it established a collaboration with Bar Ilan University’s Phytopathology Laboratory. The institution had been compiling resistance genes found in wild plant species for many years. The lab’s team, led by Dr. Yariv Ben Naim, was behind the development of the Prospera range—a basil variety with combined resistance to fusarium wilt and downy mildew (Peronospora sp)—which Genesis Seeds launched in 2018 bringing wonderful news to growers of this popular herb around the world.
Not only is the Prospera series of basil plants resistant to downy mildew, but it is also superior in quality as far as taste, aroma and appearance.

We Do Not Rest on Our Pesto
However, as we all know, pathogens do not rest for a moment and new resistances generate new races. And so it happened that after several years of suppressing the Peronospora sp fungus, a new aggressive race affecting basil began to appear and spread rapidly throughout the world.

Genesis Seeds which, as mentioned, sees it as its mission, continued to advance its research efforts even after the successful commercialization of Prospera. In fact, Dr. Yariv Ben Naim and the Genesis Seeds research teams did not for a moment stop their work towards reinforcing Prospera’s resistance. This has resulted in a new generation of basil varieties that can defend themselves from a wider range of downy mildew races.
We are pleased to announce that these days, after promising outcomes in the company’s own trial plots, these new varieties which we named ‘Prospera Active’ were transferred to different parts of the globe for further testing by breeders who’ve been working with Genesis Seeds for years and were given the opportunity to be the first to take part in this project.

One advantage that helped accelerate the development process was the company’s access to agricultural land in desert areas, where basil can be grown even in winter. This allowed it to respond quickly to this new challenging situation, and introduce the newly resistant varieties to farmers who can soon grow them commercially.
As we write, samples of Prospera Active are being sent to selected customers for testing. Their feedback and reports regarding performance in diverse regions and conditions are critical for further development, so all Genesis Seeds’ basil-producing customers can enjoy the fruits of research al pesto!

For more info about Prospera Active and other basil varieties please contact us via email:

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