Stacking Multiple Genes for Better Pest Control of Tomatoes

The massive use of harmful pesticides in vegetables necessitates safer solutions to prevent crop damage caused by pests and diseases. To this end, Dr. Peter Hanson and Dr. Jaw-fen Wang, a tomato breeder and a plant pathologist, respectively of the World Vegetable Center teamed up to develop multiple gene resistance in tomatoes.

To reduce losses caused by tomato yellow leaf curl virus disease, a combination of marker-assisted and conventional breeding was conducted at AVRDC to combine Ty-1, Ty-2, and Ty-3, genes sourced from Solanum habrochaites, S. chilense, and S. peruvianum. Lines with these genes are being tested in multilocation trials in Mali and Tanzania. In addition, lines containing Hawaii 7996 allele which shows moderate resistance to bacterial wilt was also developed in the center.

Currently, tomato lines AVTO1010 and AVTO 1003 have been developed through molecular-based breeding to contain the genes in mutli stacks to combat the two diseases.

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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