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INDIAN RIVER A NEW DISEASE RESISTANT TOMATO OF GENERAL UTILITY
N. C. Hayslip, J. M. Walter and D. G. A. Kelbert
This report describes the new Indian
River tomato variety, released jointly by
the Indian River Field Laboratory and the
Gulf Coast Experiment Station. An
Experiment Station Circular, with a more
complete description of Indian River, will
be published at a later date.
INDIAN RIVER FIELD LABORATORY MIMEO REPORT 58-1
Fort Pierce, Florida
April 18, 1958
INDIAN RIVER A NEW DISEASE RESISTANT TOMATO OF GENERAL UTILITY
N. C. HayslipI J. M. Walter2and D. G. A. Kelbert2
In April, 1958, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station released to
commercial seed producers a new tomato variety which was named "Indian River".
This tomato has been tested in several sections of Florida under the designation
CAStW 131---12-1-Bk for the past three years. It was grown in the Southern
Tomato Exchange Program trials as STEP 274 in 1957, and was repeated in the 1958
STEP trials. A number of large scale tests with the variety have been carried
on cooperatively by growers and experiment station personnel.
Indian River has performed well as a ground tomato (marketed mature green)
and as a staked tomato (marketed mostly vine-ripe). It appears to be adaptable
to either fall, winter or spring production. Although most of the advance test-
ing of this tomato was on the sandy soils of South Florida, results in the STEP
trials indicate that Indian River may have a wide adaptation in the southeastern
Major attributes of Indian River include its high resistance to graywall,
Fusarium wilt and gray leaf spot, and its worthwhile resistance to leaf mold,
early blight, blossom-end rot, crease-stem and bunching. It has been a reliable
yielder of firm attractive tomatoes of good quality. Major faults have been the
tendency of the fruit to become smaller in late pickings, and at times, some of
the fruit have had rmugh blossom ends.
A limited amount of seeds should be available from commercial seedsmen in
the winter and spring of 1959. Tomato producers are urged to limit their first
plantings to a trial, and a grower should not plant more than 25 percent of his
acreage to Indian River until he is sure it fulfills his needs. A new tomato
variety should neither be accepted nor rejected in a single season, but should
be tried for two or three seasons.
Indian River is a selection from a natural cross between Manalucie and
Manalee. The hybrid plant which was its beginning was recognized as atypical
in an observational planting of the stock that two generations later became
Manalucie. Evidence in the second and third generations from the atypical plant
indicated that Manalee had been the stray or pollen parent. Disease reactions,
earliness, and green stripe are characters that figured strongly in the evidence.
Throughout the generations of selection of the line now named Indian River,
the importance of early-setting habit and general utility in a tomato variety was
kept in mind.
1. Entomologist, Indian River Field Laboratory, Ft. Pierce.
2. Plant Pathologist and Associate Horticulturist, respectively, Gulf Coast
The vine of Indian River is indeterminate, or normal with medium size of
stems and leaflets. The leaflets are slightly smaller than those of Manalucie
and Homestead, but slightly larger than those of Grothen's Globe. The vine is
suitable for ground culture whether the crop be for fall, winter, or spring
harvest. The young plants have not shown any tendency to "bunching" or crease-
stem, and older plants have not grown too dense under generous nutrition. The
plants provide ample shade to minimize sunburn of the fruits and yet are open
enough to favor set of fruits and permit effective penetration of sprays. The
plants fit nicely on supports with strict, moderate, or slight pruning, but appear
at their best when pruned to a fork.
Indian River has the early-setting habit that is so important in tomato
varieties used for large acreages. It is seven to ten days earlier than Mana-
lucie and, in large-scale comparisons with Homestead stocks has been ready for
mature-green harvest at the same time as Homestead fruits. The fruits ripen a
bit too fast to be most satisfactory for vine-ripened marketing after the days
become warm in late April and May.
The fruits of Indian River are of intermediate size, usually closely compar-
able to those of Grothen's Globe. First and second hand fruits from ground crops
are nearly always plenty large, but the late fruits have sometimes failed to en-
large as well as have those of Homestead stocks under the same conditions. The
setting of too many fruits for the available nourishment and moisture under ground
crop conditions appears to be the reason for late fruits failing to attain the
desirable size. The record of performance on stakes makes it clear that the stock
possesses to a good degree the ability of later fruits to enlarge, satisfactorily.
The fruits are globe-shaped and have a small stem-scar and well-rounded
shoulders. Dark-green shoulder coloring is less than normal, so the large major-
ity of fruits harvested from a ground crop with good foliage have the uniform
pale-green color and waxy sheen currently favored by the mature-green market.
However, an occasional fruit shows the dark-green stripe that is common in Manalee.
This condition has not been serious and the stripe disappears as the fruit ripens.
The fruits are usually smooth at the stylar scar (blossom end), but, at times,
catface can be severe on the stock.
The fruits from mature-green harvest a&i rated, everything considered, more
attractive in appearance than are the fruits of Grothen"s Globe and Homestead.
They are attractive in the pink stage and they color to a uniform full red. In
the ripening stage the fruits have good firmness. Their outer walls are thick
and their inner walls are fleshy. The seed cavities are small and not excessively
Trials of Indian River with growers have involved plantings as large as
twenty acres. The fruit from these large-scale trials have made a very favorable
impression in the market. In addition, studies of firmness, coloring, resistance
to bruising, and performance on a similator of transit conditions have been made
by cooperator L. H. Halsey, Department of Vegetable Crops, Main Station,
Gainesville. The results of these studies indicate that Indian River excels
Jefferson in firmness and is equivalent to it in response to handling injuries.
The fruits have a good degree of resistance to both radial and concentric
cracking. The degree of this resistance is not the highest known in modern
tomatoes, but it is sufficient to make the variety suitable for vine-ripened
Many carefully conducted yield comparisons have included the stock now
named Indian River during the past four years. Several of the experiment stations
in Florida have cooperated in this testing, but the bulk of the data has been
acquired at the Indian River Field Laboratory and the Gulf Coast Experiment
Station. The data make it clear that Indian River can be depended upon to excel
most of the standard varieties in marketable yield, that it often excels Mana-
lucie, and that it usually equals the Homestead stocks with which it has been
compared. Since Indian River is resistant to gray leaf spot and graywall, it
can be expected to prove superior to Homestead stocks under commercial production
where these troubles occur. Indian River has been a reliable yielder in fall,
winter, and spring crops.
Resistance to Diseases and Physiological Disorders
Indian River posses the following hereditary resistances to fungous diseases:
1.-Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. lycopersici (Sacc.) Snyder and
Hansen. Reaction is called "field immunity", and has been completely effective
2.-Gray leaf spot, caused by Stemphylium solani Weber. Reaction amounts to field
immunity and has not failed to date.
3.-Early blight, sore-shank, and collar rot, caused by Alternaria solani (Ell. &
Mart.) Jones and Grout. Resistance is of only moderate level, but it is well
4.-Leaf mold, caused by Cladosporium fLlvum Cke. This resistance applied to only
4 races of the fungus. It has been effective to date in Florida, but there are
several areas in North America where it is no longer effective.
The performance of Indian River shows clearly that it carries a high degree
of resistance to the following physiological disorders:
1.-Blossom-end rot. In the early generations of its selection, care was taken to
make certain that the line possessed the same high degree of resistance to this
very important disorder that had been found in Manalucie, its maternal parent.
2.-Graywall. The record of near freedom of Indian River from this poorly under-
stood and costly disorder must be considered of paramount importance. It is one
of the principal reasons for the decision to release Indian River to an industry
that, for several years, has had more tomato varieties than it could conveniently
handle. It is hoped that this new variety will represent a major practical
advance in the solution of the graywall problem.
3.-Crease-stem and bunching. These disorders, of which little is known except
that they occur on crops that are growing fast, seldom is found among plants of
SUGGESTIONS ON CULTURE OF INDIAN RIVER
This new variety has demonstrated that it will produce well for fall,
winter and spring harvests under either staked or unstaked cultural methods
in many tomato producing districts of Florida. It is now expected to prove
most satisfactory under the Fort Pierce style of culture on sandy soils, and
the bulk of the data have been obtained from tests carried-out under these
circumstances. However, there is observational evidence that Indian River will
also perform well on heavier soils.
A fertility and moisture program which will maintain good plant vigor at
all times should give best results with Indian River. This tomato is not as
sensitive to over-fertilization as are other standard varieties since it is
resistant to bunching, crease-stem and graywall. It is suggested that top-
dressings with extra nitrogen and potash after the crop has been laid-by should
help to maintain size of the late fruit hands.
Because of its resistance to gray leaf spot and its moderate resistance to
early blight, Indian River will commonly allow those who grow it some needed
latitude in the application of fungicides and bactericides. For example,
dichlone, ineffective against gray leaf spot may be used for the control of gray
mold (Botrytis cinerea F.). Copper plus streptomycin, also ineffective against
gray leaf spot, may be used for the control of bacterial spot (Xanthomonas
vesicatoria Doidge). Indian River is not resistant to the above mentioned gray
mold and bacterial spot, nor to late blight, bacterial wilt, Verticillium wilt,
insects or nematodes; therefore those who use the variety will find it necessary
to maintain defenses against these pests.
Indian River will be described in more detail in an Experiment Station
circular at a later date.