Durable virus resistance in tomato

Durable virus resistance in tomato






Landbouw, Water, Voedsel>Sleuteltechnologieën LWV>Biotechnologie en Veredeling






The aim of this project is to obtain durable and broad spectrum resistance against newly emerging DNA and RNA viruses in tomato (with a great potential outreach to other crops).

We selected two DNA viruses (Tomato yellow leaf curl virus/TYLCV and Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus/ToLCNDV); and two RNA viruses (Tomato chlorosis virus/ToCV and Tomato brown rugose fruit virus/ToBRFV). We aim to utilize impaired plant susceptibility (S) genes to control these viruses.

Plant S-genes encode proteins exploited by a pathogen for its own benefit during infection. When a plant S-gene becomes dysfunctional, it impedes a pathogen from colonizing the plant resulting in recessive resistance.

Doel van het project

Our group is one of the few groups that promoted the ‘S-gene concept’ around 2009. In the past 10 year, it has become an important scientific topic and innovative strategy in plant resistance breeding. Compared to plant R-genes, our knowledge on plant S-genes is limited. Scientifically, more plant S-genes need to be discovered and studied for their mode-of-action. The evidence that impaired plant S-genes confer durable and broad-spectrum resistance needs to be clarified and verified by more well-studied examples. Further, potential fitness costs associated with impaired plant S-genes should be overcome before their application in crop breeding. With this current proposal, we will generate new precompetitive knowledge and plant materials related to plant S-genes, which can be transferred into concrete products in crop breeding: healthy plant seeds (and/or seedlings, tubers) to start a circular and sustainable agriculture. Collaboration with the 12 participating companies in this project will certainly ensure a direct knowledge transfer to support innovation in practical breeding.

Relatie met missie (Motivatie)

Breeding of new robust varieties with resistance to diseases remains a constant point of attention in circular agriculture where healthy plant materials (e.g. seeds) are the starting point for a good cultivation and harvest.

The viruses selected in this project form a potential threat to food security due to their expanding geographical distribution and host range. The most promising contribution of this research is the development of a novel approach, the use of impaired plant S-genes, to achieve durable resistance to these viruses in different cops.

Geplande acties

We expect to obtain the following results:
o Tomato mutants with resistance to the studied viruses and the causal genes underlying the resistance.
o Disease assays for the studied viruses.
o Candidates of plant S-genes for controlling viral diseases in tomato as well as in other crops.

Naam projectleider

Yuling Bai