Biotech Updates

Scientists Develop Pest Resistant Tomato Using Bt Technology

December 7, 2016

Tomato fruit borer (Helicoverpa armigera) is one of the most damaging pests in tomato production, especially in India. Tomatoes do not have genes that confer resistance against the borer and conventional efforts to manage the pest were ineffective. Thus, a team of Indian scientists used Bt technology to develop fruit borer resistant tomatoes.

Through Agrobacterium mediated transformation, Arka Vikas tomatoes expressed Cry2A proteins for built-in resistance against tomato fruit borer. Transgene integration was confirmed through PCR and ELISA. Transgenic plants exhibited extensive resistance to the pest. An average of 95 percent mortality of fruit borers was observed in 24 hours of bioassays.

Based on the findings, Bt technology could be an effective means to develop pest resistant tomatoes.

Read the research article in Journal of Horticultural Sciences.