6th Bergerac Tobacco Scientific Meeting, 2005, p. 19-22.

Tobacco cultivars and seeds evaluation systems in the European Union and in the world

Institut Expérimental du Tabac, Bergerac, France

An overview of tobacco variety approval systems throughout the world is presented, and main common traits of successful systems are derived. Then, two necessary conditions for success are studied, in the particular case of Europe. The first of these conditions is the possibility of a genetic progress. Higher level of interaction between existing breeding programs is desirable to achieve this. The second condition relates to seed quality, in a broad sense, which is defined according to six attributes (Variety identity and seed purity, absence of GMO, low frequency of converter plants, seed viability, seed vigor, seed health). Definitions, assessment methods, and existing regulations are briefly mentioned. Diversified screening methods are necessary in order to guaranty the absence of GMO and low frequency of converter plants. Deeper relationship between producers of naked seed and seed pelleting companies is needed, in view of quality insurance.