Tweaking carotenoid genes helps tomatoes bring their A-game — ScienceDaily

Cooked, fresh, sun-dried, or juiced, whichever way you prefer them, tomatoes are arguably one of the most versatile fruits on the planet — and yes, despite mainly being used in savory dishes, tomatoes really are a fruit.

The popularity of tomatoes has led to the development of more than 10,000 cultivars of various sizes, shapes, and hues. Interestingly though, there is little genetic diversity among modern tomato varieties. This lack of diversity, coupled with the fact that many traits are controlled by multiple genes, makes improving plant yield and quality a major challenge for tomato breeders.

But in a study published this week in Scientific Reports, researchers led by the University of Tsukuba explain how modern gene editing technology may be able to give tomato breeders a helping hand.

“The tomato was the first genetically modified food to be approved for human consumption,” says senior author of the study Professor

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Recycled water proves fruitful for greenhouse tomatoes — ScienceDaily

In the driest state in the driest continent in the world, South Australian farmers are acutely aware of the impact of water shortages and drought. So, when it comes to irrigation, knowing which method works best is vital for sustainable crop development.

Now, new research from the University of South Australia shows that water quality and deficit irrigation schemes each have significant effects on crop development, yield and water productivity — with recycled wastewater achieving the best overall results.

Testing different water sources on greenhouse-grown tomatoes, recycled wastewater outperformed both groundwater, and a water mix of 50 per cent groundwater and 50 per cent recycled wastewater.

Researchers also confirmed that growers using deficit irrigation strategies (irrigation that limits watering in a controlled way) performs best at 80 per cent capacity, ensuring maximum water efficiency while maintaining excellent crop growth and yield levels.

Lead researcher and UniSA PhD candidate, Jeet Chand,

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