A European project is making the tomato is resistant to drought and pests and viruses.
Through a European research project is being carried out in Israel studying the cultivation of tomatoes resistant to drought, aimed at identifying new ways to increase the yield of tomato plants.
Researchers believe that the correct answer is not genetically modified organisms, but in the nature of it.
they work with 40.000 tomato plants about two hundred different varieties. Some of them received only water for three weeks, at the beginning of the season. That was it, not a drop more during the long hot summer.
what Koch, specializing in plant science by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, He notes that part of the tomato plants are planted water: "it is proven: tomatoes with good watering and nutrition, grow. But we want to see if these tomato plants can give a good production, good performance and beautiful tomatoes, unirrigated. And after that identify, we can carry out other experiments. "
Daniel Zamir, scientist and project coordinator, It explains that the approach "is to use natural biodiversity to identify what traits of wild species we are interested and transfer to conventional tomatoes, crossing them naturally. Our goal is to tomatoes that have traditional features plus a "bonus" provided by wildlife ", explains.
However, to be marketed, tomatoes resistant to drought must first meet certain criteria. A selected time are evaluated in the laboratory. They discuss some 700 types of tomato season. Over time, the center has assembled a collection of seeds from 12.000 varieties of tomatoes.
Matan scientific Oved, explains that for tomatoes pass the screening study "care much flavor. We also try to get a high sugar content, different flavors and we focus a lot on the color of tomatoes. "
Once the most promising tomatoes are identified, It is passed to study DNA. Plants with specific traits are crossed with other wild species, for new opportunities.
Yael Goldberg, biotechnologist confirms that "are examining hundreds of DNA samples and then see which ones are more resistant to drought , and which will contribute to that tomatoes are good and stronger. Then, We continue researching and cultivating these specific varieties. "
Similarly, It is conducting similar research with species, not only drought resistant, but also to pests and diseases that affect the performance of tomateras.
None of these has yet been selected varieties marketed.