Research press release


Nature Communications

Genetics: Tomatoes get plump in the night



今回、Aaron Velez-Ramirezたちは、一部の野生種のトマトが、24時間照明条件に対して耐性を有している理由を調べた。その結果、CAB-13遺伝子が同定され、この遺伝子が、栽培種よりも南米由来の野生種において高発現していることが分かった。次に、Velez-Ramirezたちは、CAB-13遺伝子を現生栽培種に導入した。その結果、この新品種は、連続的な光照射条件での収量が増加し、生育の他の側面は影響を受けなかった。


The discovery of a gene that confers continuous light tolerance to wild tomato species could lead to substantial yield increases in commercial varieties, reports a study published this week in Nature Communications.

One of the major limitations for crop productivity is the amount of light available each day. Artificial lighting allows for longer periods of light exposure and energy production, but cultivated tomato plants often develop damaging leaf injuries under such conditions-a poorly understood phenomenon that has been the subject of intense study since the 1920s.

Aaron Velez-Ramirez and colleagues investigated why certain wild species of tomato are able to tolerate 24-hour lighting conditions. They pinpointed a gene called CAB-13 that had higher expression in wild species from South America than in domesticated varieties. They then transferred the gene to a modern cultivar and the new line performed better under continuous lighting, without affecting other aspects of development.

Researchers find that the ability to grow the plants under constant light-rather than the 16-hour light/8-hour dark cycles that are typical for tomatoes-leads to yield increases of almost 20%. The study not only has important implications for commercial growers, it also opens new avenues of research in photosynthesis.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms5549

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