Syngenta hires three plant-science breeders

Three new breeders -- Ravneet Behla, Eifion Hughes and Joshua Besancon -- have been added to the Syngenta team working on the future production of leafy green vegetables in the United States.

Behla has a doctorater in plant science, genetics and pathology. Behla’s primary focus will be on romaine lettuce development of open-field varieties for fresh and processing markets, as well as whole leaf varieties.

Hughes has a masters in science degree and will serve in an assistant breeder capacity for Syngenta with a specific focus on spinach variety development in the United States market.

Finally, Besancon has a bachelor of science degree in environmental horticulture and urban forestry. He will also be an assistant breeder, specifically for the development efforts in romaine and iceberg lettuces.

“One key focus of leafy breeding efforts moving forward is integrating resistance to tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) into our existing portfolio and new varieties, as well as identifying new resistance genes that provide insurance for growers against emerging strains of devastating diseases like downy mildew,” Barner Golumbfskie-Jones, Syngenta's leafy and brassica product marketing manager, said. “Beyond resistance, we are committed to delivering ‘full package’ products that fulfill needs throughout the value chain.”

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