Over the course of a multi-year study, Netherlands based researchers have discovered a gene called CAB-13 that may be crucial for light tolerance in wild tomatoes. They found that the expression of this gene could be successfully transferred to commercial tomatoes over several generations of selective crossbreeding.
By the time the study was finished, the researchers were able to grow a domesticated tomato plant that could tolerate light for 24 hours a day — producing 20% more fruit than a typical tomato plant that could only tolerate light for 18 hours.
The initial tests suggest that the gene has an effect on the carbohydrate metabolism and photosynthesis of the plants, but may not have a direct effect on fruit development.
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