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Greenhouse tomatoes more resistant due to antibodies

Scientists have recently succeeded in breeding tomatoes that are more resistant to pests and infections. To achieve this, they crossed greenhouse tomatoes with tomatoes from the wild, able to produce their own antibodies. Academics identified the substance inherent in wild tomatoes and were able to inject this in cultivated tomato plants.

Whiteflies, spider mites and aphids are among the pests affecting tomatoes. They not only eat the leaves and fruit of the plant, but also carry plant viruses. These pests may therefore cause great economic damage.

In a bid to make tomatoes more resistant, scientists introduced natural antibodies, stemming from the 'Solanum habrochaites', a wild tomato, to the cultivated ‘Moneymaker’ variety. After putting the Moneymaker to the test, results showed that 70% of pests released on the tomatoes had in fact died.

 
 

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