Tomato Blind Plants - Safe
(INCOTEC acronym BliPs) in tomato is a disorder concerning the
It may occur early in development, resulting in a seedling
with no true leaves up to just one, two or three leaves. It can also occur
later in the plant development, after the 5th or 6th node has developed,
but at this stage, this is mainly an effect of growing conditions.
It is still not known exactly what causes blindness.
If and to what
extent this sensitivity comes to expression, can depend on several
factors. Conditions during seed production, as well as during post-harvest
processing of the seed can increase the sensitivity, and may eventually,
when a "threshold" is passed, lead to an increase in blind plants.
Furthermore, germination and growing conditions can have an effect on the
occurrence of blind plants.
Some more facts:
- Tomato plants easily form side shoots, so after a while the plant
may recover. When grown at a plant raiser, these plants are often too
retarded to be useable, but when sown directly in the field, these
plants may not be noticed.
- Priming can have a dramatic effect on the occurrence of blind
plants; in sensitive cultivars increases of over 30% have been observed.
began looking into the Blind Plants problem in tomatoes in 1995. The goal
was to develop a priming that would not increase the incidence of Blind
Plants but still allow for increased uniformity and speed of germination.
Since that time a safe priming has been developed and is now used for most
of the tomato seed lots being grown in many different countries (e.g. the
Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Israel).
Incotec regularly gets the
question whether it is possibly to "repair" tomato seed lots that have
already 10-15% blind plants, probably caused by the genetic background and
the conditions during seed production. INCOTEC continues to maintain
research projects in this area to find a repair solution.