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USA: Stronger Tomatoes in Florida

USA: Stronger Tomatoes in Florida

Scientists at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research and Education Center have produced three new virus-resistant, breeding lines of tomatoes. The new tomatoes are the results of a $2-million, 25-year research project. John Scott, professor of horticultural sciences and tomato breeder at the center, says these new virus-resistant lines will eventually help farmers protect their crop against the tomato yellow leaf curl virus, which is transmitted by whiteflies and can cause total crop loss for farmers. “These tomatoes give breeders better options to breed more durable resistance, which will make it harder for the virus to mutate against,” says John. The researchers screened about 15,000 plants, taking tissue and DNA from each, to produce the three lines. Samuel Hutton, who worked with Scott on the study, says that ideally, farmers will use these breeding lines as parents to develop finished, marketable varieties. (Source: alligator.org)