US: Key Traits and Promising Germplasm for an organic participatory tomato breeding program

Local production of organic tomatoes marketed directly to consumers is growing rapidly in the U.S. Midwest. Growers serving this market need cultivars that are well adapted to local climatic conditions, are competitive under organic management, and have end-use quality characteristics desired by their customers. 

Participatory plant breeding is a powerful, cost-effective approach with potential to engage growers in development of new cultivars optimally adapted to organic farming systems. To initiate a participatory breeding program for organic tomatoes, an online grower survey was conducted to identify key plant traits, and a diverse set of tomato germplasm was evaluated under organic management to better understand horticultural constraints and identify adapted germplasm for further development.

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