Supplier sign in
Home
STAY INFORMED
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
Your email address will never be disclosed to any third party.
Read our privacy notice.

     

ARTICLE
Share this article
Extra scrumptious tomatoes
Download article as pdf
If you are on our mailing list, the pdf will be opened directly, otherwise you will be sent a download link.
You also get a sample copy of our newsletter.

Extra scrumptious tomatoes

How is the growth and ripening of fruit regulated? That’s what researcher Ruud de Maagd at Wageningen Plant Research focuses on. The CRISPR-Cas system enables him to edit the genome much more precisely. “Basing our research on the tomato as a model fruit, we use CRISPR-Cas to inhibit certain genes, particularly transcription factors, to determine what their function is. In the past, we did this by means of spontaneous mutants or RNA interference. The dra- wback was that it was difficult to inhibit a gene completely or to inhibit one specific gene if there were several similar genes. CRISPR-Cas works much better and allows us to be far more precise,”

Company information

LIFE SCIENCES Extra scrumptious tomatoes Wageningen Plant Research uses the tomato as a model fruit to study the advantages of using CRISPR-Cas as a plant breeding tool. How is the growth and ripening of fruit regulated? That’s what researcher Ruud de Maagd at Wageningen Plant Research focuses on. The CRISPR-Cas system enables him to edit the genome much more precisely.„“Basing our research on the tomato as a model fruit, we use CRISPR-Cas to inhibit certain genes, particularly transcription factors, to determine what their function is. In the past, we did this by means of spontaneous mutants or RNA interference. The dra- wback was that it was difficult to inhibit a gene completely or to inhibit one specific gene if there were several similar genes. CRISPR-Cas works much better and allows us to be far more precise,” says De Maagd. He acknowledges that CRISPR-Cas has not yet significantly sped up the pace of his research. “However, we need far fewer plants and hence less work and workspace, because we know at a much earlier stage which plants have the traits we’re looking for. Even so, we still need six months from the beginning of the transformation to the moment we can harvest ripe fruit. That’s primarily because we need to grow plants from tissue culture all the while. In the future, I’d like to try doing the mutagenesis in the growing plant, so that we can skip the tissue culture. That would save a lot of time. We know this is possible in Arabidopsis, but we haven’t been able to do it with other plants yet.”“ In addition to this fundamental research, De Maagd also stu- dies highly practical questions for which CRISPR-Cas can be used: “We’re studying how we can enhance the sugar produc- tion in tomatoes, in order to improve their flavor. We’re also trying to improve their shelf life by ensuring they don’t go soft as quickly. The tomato plant itself is also an object of study. Growers would benefit from a plant with fewer side shoots, for instance, so they need to spend less time pruning.” Ruud de Maagd, researcher at Wageningen Plant Research 30 LABinsights | November 2019
MAXUS MEDIA
LABinsights.net LABinsights.de LABinsights.nl
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Newsletter archive
Service and contact
ContactDisclaimerPrivacyAdvertising