A study published in New Phytologist explores the critical role of the plant hormone ethylene in promoting resistance of tomato fruits against Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that causes grey mold in tomato plants.
Tomato is a widely consumed edible fruit which is a good source of several vitamins and minerals. However, tomato fruits also face significant challenges present in the environment. The damage from B. cinerea causes devastating losses in yield and quality of tomato plants, which resulted in serious financial losses for farmers.
The findings of the study showed that overexpression of ethylene response factor SlERF.C1 enhanced resistance to B. cinerea. Additionally, overexpression of mitogen-activated protein kinase SlMPK8 enhanced resistance to B. cinerea without affecting ripening. The results of the study show significant insights into managing gray mold disease in tomato fruits.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)