The International Bremia Evaluation Board (IBEB) has officially designated a new race of downy mildew in lettuce: Bl:32. This isolate was already known, but has now become much more widespread in Europe, according to research by the IBEB into the Bremia isolates identified in 2014 and earlier. Most outbreaks of Bremia caused by these new isolates have only local consequences. In recent years, however, Bl:32 has been identified in France, Germany, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, and it has recently also spread to Portugal and northern Spain.
The IBEB is a joint initiative of lettuce breeding companies in France and the Netherlands, the Dutch inspection service (Naktuinbouw) and the French National Seed Station (GEVES). IBEB’s mission is to identify new races of Bremia lactucae that pose a significant threat to the European lettuce industry and promote the use of commonly accepted race names in communication with growers.