A wild tomato species could help end the use of pesticides

Scientists from Wageningen University & Research have discovered that Solanum Galapagense, a wild tomato species indigenous to the Galapagos Islands, is resistant to a large number of pest insects.

Scientists are now hoping to cross breed these wild tomatoes with modern cultivated tomatoes to produce much more insect resistant cultivated tomatoes naturally, without the use of pesticides.

Modern cultivated tomatoes aren't very resistant to pest insects such as the whitefly, so pesticides are typically used to prevent insect infestation.

This specific strain of wild tomatoes is special because it is very similar genetically to the modern cultivated tomato, its resistance is coded within a single chromosome. This will make it much easier for scientists to cross-breed the two tomato breeds.

If cross-breeding is successful, it should produce a new version of cultivated tomatoes that are much more resistant to pests, meaning less pesticide use.

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