Crop Biotech Update

Production of Bt Tomato to Control Insect Pests in Egypt

November 4, 2011

Tomatoes are widely planted in 159 countries. In Egypt alone, it is estimated 265,000 that hectares of land are planted with tomatoes. Tomato growers have suffered massive losses in production due to high incidence of some lepidopterous insect pests such as cotton leafworm, American bollworm, and potato tuber moth. M.M. Saker, a scientist at the National Research Center in Egypt, together with other researchers, developed a Bt tomato with Cry2Ab through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.

Through molecular and biochemical analyses, they have confirmed the expression and integration of the Bt gene into the tomato genome. The impact of Cry2Ab was validated by the mortality of American bollworm and potato tuber moth fed with Bt tomato. Therefore, tomato lines expressing Cry2Ab can be used to effectively eradicate lepidopteran insect pests endemic in Egypt.

Read the research article at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1687157X11000242.