US: Progress in developing bacterial spot resistance in tomato

Bacterial spot (BS), caused by four species of Xanthomonas: X. euvesicatoria, X. vesicatoria, X. perforans and X. gardneri in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) results in severe loss in yield and quality by defoliation and the appearance of lesions on fruits, respectively.

The combined industry standard for BS control (foliar applications Actigard rotated with copper plus mancozeb) does not offer sufficient protection, especially when weather conditions favor disease spread. Development of tomato cultivars with BS resistance is thus an important measure to minimize losses.

Hypersensitive and non-hypersensitive resistance has been identified in different wild accessions and cultivated tomato relatives and has been transferred to cultivated tomato. However, complete resistance is yet to be obtained. With the advent of next generation sequencing and precise genome editing tools, the genetic regions that confer resistance to bacterial spot can be targeted and enriched through gene pyramiding in a new commercial cultivar which may confer higher degree of horizontal resistance to multiple strains of Xanthomonas causing bacterial spot in tomato.

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