Botrytis resistant tomato plants
This present invention relates to cultivated tomato plants that are resistant to the pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea , which is controlled by QTL loci.
Botrytis blight, commonly known as gray mold, causes a variety of plant diseases including damping-off and blights of flowers, fruits, stems, and foliage of many vegetables and ornamentals. It is a major cause of post-harvest rot of perishable plant produce, including tomatoes at harvest and in storage. The disease can occur both in the greenhouse and in the field.
Gray mold is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea . In the field, this fungus is difficult to control because it causes infections that remain dormant in the field and develop into fruit decay during post-harvest storage. In greenhouses, Botrytis infection is of particular importance. Indeed for indeterminate tomatoes that need to be tutored, the removal of lateral leaves accompanying the growing of the plant always leads to lesions on the stem and such lesions constitute multiple entry points for the pathogen.
In the field, the fungus appears as a gray, velvety covering of spores on dying flowers and on the calyx of fruit. Immature green fruit turn light brown or white, starting at the point where they touch other infected plant parts. A soft rot may develop with the fruit skin remaining intact, but the inner tissue becomes mushy and watery. Later, a gray fuzzy mold develops, and sclerotia may appear. Green fruit can also become infected directly by airborne spores instead of by contact with other infections. Crop losses of up to 50% are not uncommon.
There is no known resistance to B. cinerea in tomato cultivars. There was therefore a long felt and unmet need for convenient, efficient and economically sustainable strategies to protect tomato plants against Botrytis cinerea infestation.
The tomato plant exhibiting resistance to Botrytis cinerea is obtained from a wild tomato Solanum habrochaites source.
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Access to trait know-how and molecular markers to increase the efficiency with which the trait can be introduced into the market will be negotiated as a lump-sum fee or an additional royalty rate.