Bean cultivar BRS FC 401 RMD resistant to the golden mosaic virus Official Statement

Brazil is the largest producer of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the world, and has harvested, in 2014, 2.7 million tons. This is a product cultivated by small,  medium  and intensive farmers all around the country.

The domestic consumption is high and Brazil has no tradition in exporting common bean. On the contrary, Brazil usually imports this kind of grain in order to supply the domestic demand. The bean mainly exported by Brazil is the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata).

The production of bean in the country has been seriously jeopardized by the golden mosaic, a disease caused by a virus, the bean golden mosaic virus (BGMV), spread by the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), influencing the supply and the price.

Aiming to establish solutions in order to improve the Brazilian common bean production, to ensure the domestic supply as well as price stability, Embrapa is preparing to release a common bean cultivar resistant to the golden mosaic virus.

The outcome of years of research, Embrapa has developed a genetic modified cultivar to be resistant, on effective terms,  to the golden mosaic.  The cultivar was called BRS FC401 RMD, comprising grains of the commercial class ‘carioca', and it will be delivered to be used in a production system allying the RMD technology (resistant to the golden mosaic) with the integrated management of the whitefly as well as of the diseases spread by it.

Biosafety essays of the RMD cultivar were finished in 2010 and accredited by the Comissão Técnica  Nacional de Biossegurança (CTNBio) in 2011, and its commercial release was approved in the same year. Essays have revealed that the RMD bean is as safe to the cultivation  and consumption as other beans usually traded in the country.

RMD bean, currently in the final phase of development in order to be released to the market, is, therefore, a common bean of the commercial class ‘carioca', the kind of bean most consumed in Brazil and occasionally exported due to the high domestic demand as well as to the lack of interest of foreign countries.

Thus, we inform that BRS FC 401 RMD developed by Embrapa is the first and only one genetically modified, created in order to be an important tool to control the golden mosaic virus and adopted  in association with integrated management of the whitefly. RMD bean  is not available as yet to the consumer market and will not be exported.