Biotech Updates

Israeli Scientists Develop Drought-Resistant Tomatoes

April 5, 2023

The new tomato variety developed by Hebrew University researchers is resistant to drought. Photo Source: Maya Margit/The Media Line

Israeli researchers Shai Torgeman and Professor Dani Zamir from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a new tomato variety that is more resistant to drought conditions and could help with the destructive impact of climate change.

The scientists crossbred two species of tomatoes, a wild variety from the deserts of western Peru, with a common commercial cultivar that is widely available. They identified interactions between two areas of the tomato's genome that lead to increased yield and resistance to dry conditions. The study found that these specific areas in the plant's genome lead to a 20%-50% increase in the overall yield in both regular and dry conditions. The scientists also observed that plant size improved.

According to the researchers, their findings show that using wild species is an effective way to enhance agricultural output. They could also prove to be widely applicable to other plants in the future.

For more details, read the article in Media Line.

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