Smarten up spinach

Pathogenic fungi mutate at a rapid pace and break through the plants protective mechanisms. Making varieties resistant is a race against the clock. What will you do?


As a child , you were told that spinach makes you strong. However, the plant itself is very vulnerable.

A spinach variety that is resistant one year can succumb one season later. Maken varieties resistant is a race against the clock.


Problem is clear, how can we solve this?

Plant breeders are searching everywhere in the world for wild spinach that is resistant to fungi. In the laboratory, researchers unravel the genetic structure of the wild plant so we can track the presence of resistance genes. Eventually the wild spinach is cross-bred with our tasty variety.

Every crop or flower, every climate or soil type needs a solution for this problem. A variety that succeeds in the Netherlands will probably fail in Thailand. Breeding work is infinite.

Myco France kolenveld

“We now have a list of varieties that are highly resistant to all kind of diseases and pests, such as clubroot, mycosphaerella and thrips. In addition, the characteristics of the variety must also meet the requirement of the growers. A small change in the weather can make a plant more susceptible to, for example, fungi. That challenge is one of the reasons for me to pursue a career as a plant breeder!”

Twan Groot Syngenta kolenveld
Twan Groot
Breeder Cabbage at Syngenta
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Seed Valley: global centre

In Seed Valley, we work on the development of new vegetable and flower varieties. Dutch seeds are sold across the globe.  Every type of vegetable or flower, every type of climate, and every type of soil calls for a customized solution.

And this demand never stops.