Biotech Updates

CSHL Scientists Discover New Toolkit for Boosting Tomato Yield

November 5, 2014

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientist led by Zacchary Lippman has devised a way on how high fruit production of tomato can be attained with an increase of about 100 percent. This method was discovered in tomatoes by studying the two hormones, florigen and anti-florigen, which influence the imbalance in tomato's plant architecture. As Lippman stated, "Plant architecture results from a delicate balance between vegetative growth – shoots and leaves – and flower production. To increase crop yields, we want plants to produce as many flowers and fruits as possible, but this requires energy – energy that is produced in leaves."

Their study has resulted to the development of a toolkit containing the identified gene mutations brought about by combining gene variants from different varieties. Gene mutations can boost crop yields due to balance created in the florigen and anti-florigen hormones without too much support from the leaves for energy. This toolkit  is not only applicable to tomato, but to other flowering crops and can be useful for plant breeders in designing high yielding crops.

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