Biotech Updates

Scientists Reveal Genetic Mechanism to Boost Tomato Yield

January 8, 2014

Scientists from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York , USA have revealed a way to produce more tomato yield without sacrificing the plant's unique and necessary bushy plant shape. Their research has revealed one genetic mechanism for hybrid vigor, a property of plant breeding that has been exploited to boost yield since the early 20th century.

Teasing out the hidden subtleties of a type of hybrid vigor involving just one gene has provided the scientists with means to tweak the length of time that bushy tomato varieties can produce flowers. In these plants, longer flowering time substantially raises fruit yield.

The researchers found that bushy plants with a mutation in one of the two copies of the florigen gene, producing half as much florigen as plants without the mutation do, postpone the moment when they stop producing flowers. This, in turn, leads to many more fruits overall.

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