Genetic discovery may lead to bigger tomato yields
Lippman’s team also studied florigen mutants in another plant, the crucifer weed known as Arabidopsis that is a cousin of crops like broccoli and cauliflower. Although they did not see the same increase in yield, they did observe similar changes in plant architecture because of florigen dosage sensitivities. These results suggest that it may be possible to manipulate florigen in a wide variety of flowering species to increase yields.
This work was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the NSF Plant Genome Research Program.
“Tomato Yield Heterosis is Triggered by a Dosage Sensitivity of the Florigen Pathway that Fine-Tunes Shoot Architecture” appears online in PLoS Genetics on December 26, 2013. The authors are: Ke Jiang, Katie Liberatore, Soon Ju Park, John Alvarez, and Zach Lippman. The paper can be obtained online at: http://www.plosgenetics.org/doi/pgen.1004043.