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Wild Genes Withstand Stress

The genome of the wild tomato Solanum pennellii reveals the causes of the extreme stress tolerance of this tomato species

Jülich, 28 July 2014 – This wild tomato species endemic to Andean regions is characterized by extreme stress tolerance, for example to drought. Solanum pennellii has frequently been employed in cross breeding in order to make use of this trait for cultivated tomatoes. However, it was not previously known which genes were responsible for this stress tolerance. A current study in which an international team of scientists, headed by Dr. Alisdair Fernie from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and Prof. Björn Usadel from RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, has sequenced and analysed the genome of the wild tomato thus providing the basis for understanding its stress tolerance and for applications in future tomato breeding.

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