New Heat-Tolerant Tomato Hits the Florida Coast

January 23, 2004 - 10:07

Researchers at the University of Florida's Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences have developed a new heat-tolerant tomato variety
called 'Solar Fire'.

"Solar Fire is our best bet yet for a tomato that can
set fruit at warm temperatures," said Jay Scott, professor of
horticultural sciences at the University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research and
Education Center in Bradenton, Fla. "Most tomatoes that can set fruit at
higher temperatures have small fruit, but this one is different. And you can
plant this variety earlier in the fall growing season than other
varieties."

Solar Fire has medium- to large-size fruit, just above 6
oz., with an attractive red color and gloss. Each vine bears a lot of fruit,
causing good crop yields. It is a firm tomato, an important factor when
shipping.

Solar Fire is resistant to races 1, 2 and 3 of Fusarium
wilt, Verticillium wilt race 1 and to gray leafspot. It has moderate resistance
to fruit soft rot, a bacteria that attacks damp tomatoes after the fruit has
been harvested.

Solar Fire has been licensed for production with
Harris-Moran Seed Company, Modesto, Calif.

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