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Genetic discovery points the way to much bigger yields in tomato, other flowering food plants

Zach Lippman at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, US, has found a way to dramatically increase tomato yields by tweaking a type of hybrid vigour, a property of plant breeding that has been exploited to boost yield since the early 20th century.

He managed to coax the plant into producing more fruit without sacrificing the unique bushy plant shape necessary for commercial harvesting. The type of hybrid vigour involved, carried by the florigen gene, has provided the scientists with means to tweak the length of time that bushy tomato varieties can produce flowers. Longer flowering time substantially raises fruit yield.


(EurekAlert, 26/12/2013)