Developing Drought-Tolerant Tomatoes
Written by Victoria Johnston on 10th January 2018
In Northern Israel, scientists are working on a European project aimed at developing drought-tolerant tomatoes. The aim behind the project is to find a tomato that would require 90% less irrigation than ordinary varieties, would be extremely resistant to drought, taste good, have a nice texture and provide a steady yield.
The experiment involves growing some 40,000 tomato plants from 200 different varieties.
For some of the tomatoes, the aim is to starve the tomatoes of water. They only receive water for three weeks at the start of the season, and spend the long, hot summer without irrigation. The scientists want to see which tomato plants can still give good yields without irrigation and without water so that these varieties can be identified. Then the scientists will then move onto other experiments.
The researchers contend that the answer does not lie in genetically modified organisms, but rather in nature itself with the approach involving the use of natural biodiversity.