Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Farming News .




FARM NEWS
Genetic discovery points the way to much bigger yields in tomato, other flowering food plants
by Staff Writers
Cold Spring Harbor, NY (SPX) Dec 28, 2013


illustration only

Every gardener knows the look of a ripe tomato. That bright red color, that warm earthy smell, and the sweet juicy flavor are hard to resist. But commercial tomato plants have a very different look from the backyard garden variety, which can grow endlessly under the right conditions to become tall and lanky.

Tomatoes that will be canned for sauces and juice are harvested from plants that stop growing earlier than classic tomato varieties, and are therefore more like bushes. While the architecture of these compact bushy plants allows mechanical harvesters to reap the crop, the early end of growth means that each plant produces fewer fruits than their home garden cousins.

But what if commercial tomato growers could coax plants into producing more fruit without sacrificing that unique and necessary bushy plant shape? Today, CSHL researchers announced that they have determined a way to accomplish this.

Their research has revealed one genetic mechanism for hybrid vigor, a property of plant breeding that has been exploited to boost yield since the early 20th century. Teasing out the hidden subtleties of a type of hybrid vigor involving just one gene has provided the scientists with means to tweak the length of time that bushy tomato varieties can produce flowers.

In these plants, longer flowering time substantially raises fruit yield.

First identified at CSHL by George Shull in 1908, hybrid vigor - or heterosis, as biologists call it - involves interbreeding genetically distinct plants to generate offspring more robust than either inbred parent. It has been used for decades to improve agricultural productivity, but scientists have long debated how and why it works.

In his previous work, CSHL Associate Professor Zach Lippman and Israeli colleagues identified a rare example of hybrid vigor involving a genetic defect in the gene that makes florigen, a hormone that controls the process of flowering and flower production.

The mutation dramatically increases tomato yields in bush tomatoes, and Lippman and his team, led by postdoctoral researcher Ke Jiang, set out to understand the mechanism behind this remarkable result.

They found that bushy plants with a mutation in one of the two copies of the florigen gene, producing half as much florigen as plants without the mutation do, postpone the moment when they stop producing flowers.

This, in turn, leads to many more fruits overall. "This is because," Lippman explains, "bushy tomato varieties are highly sensitive to the amount, or dosage, of the florigen hormone, which alters plant architecture - that is, how many flowers can form before growth ends. These discoveries lead to an exciting prediction: that it may be possible to tweak florigen levels to increase yields even further."

Lippman's team also studied florigen mutants in another plant, the crucifer weed known as Arabidopsis that is a cousin of crops like broccoli and cauliflower. Although they did not see the same increase in yield, they did observe similar changes in plant architecture because of florigen dosage sensitivities. These results suggest that it may be possible to manipulate florigen in a wide variety of flowering species to increase yields.

This work was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the NSF Plant Genome Research Program.

"Tomato Yield Heterosis is Triggered by a Dosage Sensitivity of the Florigen Pathway that Fine-Tunes Shoot Architecture" appears online in PLOS Genetics on December 26, 2013. The authors are: Ke Jiang, Katie Liberatore, Soon Ju Park, John Alvarez, and Zach Lippman. The paper can be obtained online at: http://www.plosgenetics.org/doi/pgen.1004043

.


Related Links
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FARM NEWS
Extinction risk prompts ban on fishing for caviar-producing sturgeon
Moscow (UPI) Dec 27, 2013
Russia and other countries bordering the Caspian Sea say they've agreed to stop fishing black-caviar-producing sturgeon because the fish is close to extinction. Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency announced the ban, also agreed to by Kazakhstan, Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, will begin Jan. 1 for one year and may be extended for as long as five years, RIA Novosti reported Friday. ... read more


FARM NEWS
Van Allen Probes Shed Light on Decades-old Mystery

Planet Labs Raises Financing

The Fantastical Life of a GIS Analyst

Brazil, China to make new satellite launch in 2014

FARM NEWS
Nepal uses satellite to track rare snow leopard

CSP MEMS Oscillator Paired with Mini GPS Receiver

Raytheon receives $16 million contract award for miniaturized airborne GPS receivers

USAF Awards Lockheed Martin Contract to Complete Two More GPS III Satellites

FARM NEWS
Mangrove forests march up Florida coast as killing frosts decrease

Debate erupts over plans to harvest burned timber in California

With few hard frosts, tropical mangroves push north

Field trial with lignin modified poplars shows potential for bio-based economy

FARM NEWS
York scientists' significant step forward in biofuels quest

Seaweed Energy Solutions (SES) acquires wild seaweed operation in Norway

Algae to crude oil: Million-year natural process takes minutes in the lab

Biorefinery could put South Australian forest industry back on growth track

FARM NEWS
Renewables Provides All New US Electrical Generating Capacity In November

DEK Solar Reaffirms PV Market Commitment

Historians, environmentalists oppose Calif. solar power plant

EU extends probe of 'eco-levy' breaks given to German industry

FARM NEWS
Austria's wind industry laments new zoning restrictions

Wind energy: TUV Rheinland certifies PowerWind wind turbines

Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund acquires 16 MW wind power asset from O2

Morgan Advanced Materials Delivers Superior Insulation Solution To Wind Farm

FARM NEWS
Australia gives environmental nod to $5.7 bln coal project

Top German court throws out suit over giant coal mine

Australian coal projects at risk of being 'stranded'

China mine explosion kills 21

FARM NEWS
Chinese director blames tradition for breaking one-child rule

China eases one-child policy, abolishes labour camps

Hong Kong in quest for youth as ageing population looms

500 local Chinese lawmakers resign in fraud scandal




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement