Based on a technique first used in Arabidopsis, scientists from the Texas A&M University’s Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center and Baylor’s College of Medicine were able to engineer a drought-resistant tomato by making it over-express the AVP1 gene. This resulted to plants with more extensive root system, a crucial trait useful under drought conditions.
The authors of the study, whose work is supposedly published this week at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (unfortuntely, I can’t trace the article) are optimistic of the impacts of this research:
“This technology could ultimately be applied to all crops because it involves the over-expression of a gene found in all plants,” said Dr. Roberto Gaxiola, a plant biologist at the University of Connecticut and the lead author of the study. “It has the potential to revolutionize agriculture and improve food production worldwide by addressing an increasing global concern: water scarcity.”
Source: AgNews, Texas A&M University