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Old March 31, 2011   #12
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 147

I found this link concerning the genes for disease resistances in tomatoes, including heirlooms. Looks like he has been sequencing DNA for many different tomato varieties to find whether they have the known gene for resistance to a certain disease:

I'll have to wait until the boyfriend gets home to interpret this, as he's the computational biologist and I am just flailing around in gnorance of biology.
For example, page 18 seems to say that Riesentraube has the gene for verticilum race 1 resistance while page 24 says "susceptible to all." Or is "gene reported" the "official" resistance?
I can't find any published reports on this, but at least someone is working on it. They say they will have the "real tests" this summer.

had it explained over lunch. He developed a quick, comparatively cheap genetic test for resistances. (Lower case indicates lack of the function. Mi: root knot nematode resistance, mi: doesnt have teh resistane.) Some varieties are known to have resistances(BHN-444) and some don't (Riesentraube) and those were used to determine which nucleotides could be used as markers. pages 21-25 show results of this testing.

The developer of this method will use it to make heirloom-quality hybrids that are resistant. This is good- that means that if we have a spot of garden with fusarium, we can grow such varieties there. (I think one can use grafted heirlooms, too.) Another possible benefit is if this is picked up by growers- then perhaps we can have more "real" tomatoes in super markets.

Anyways, it is a cool bit of biotech. I am sure that there are quick disease tests that have been developed, but they are likely proprietary and held by major plant breeding companies.

The diseases that matter to me are typically foliar, like blight, so resistance to these doesn't affect me either way.

Last edited by BlackestKrim; March 31, 2011 at 02:00 PM.
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