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Molecular design of tomato - de novo domestication via genome editing to harness stress tolerance

Grant number: 18/05003-1
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2019 - December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Pant Physiology
Cooperation agreement: West Virginia University
Principal researcher:Lázaro Eustaquio Pereira Peres
Grantee:Lázaro Eustaquio Pereira Peres
Principal researcher abroad: Vagner Augusto Benedito
Institution abroad: West Virginia University (WVU), United States
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Current plant breeding approaches have failed to harness the full potential of tolerance to abiotic stress available in wild crop relative species by genetic introgression to crop varieties. This difficulty is due to the highly complex polygenic traits involved in these stresses. Nevertheless, highly-tolerant crops are urgently needed in the face of scarcity of arable land and fresh water, and the fast-paced growth of the global population. Here, we propose a novel approach to tackle this problem by domesticating de novo the tomato by using its close relative S. cheesmaniae, a hardy species native to the Galapagos Islands and highly adapted to abiotic stresses, especially salinity. We will test a molecular design approach using new genome editing technology (CRISPR-Cas9) as a proof-of-concept that can be extended to other major crops. We will also produce a viable commercial, non-transgenic tomato variety that can be cultivated hydroponically with seawater or in saline fields. This project will also leverage the pursuit of additional funding in the U.S. to further explore biotechnological tools to enhance the physiology and development of the tomato plant with the intent of maximizing yield under diverse abiotic duress. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
THEREZAN, RODRIGO; KORTBEEK, RUY; VENDEMIATTI, ELOISA; LEGARREA, SAIOA; DE ALENCAR, SEVERINO M.; SCHUURINK, ROBERT C.; BLEEKER, PETRA; PERES, LAZARO E. P. Introgression of the sesquiterpene biosynthesis from Solanum habrochaites to cultivated tomato offers insights into trichome morphology and arthropod resistance. PLANTA, v. 254, n. 1 JUL 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.