Nav: Home

Plant seed research provides basis for sustainable alternatives to chemical fertilizers

March 25, 2019

St. Paul, MN (March 2019)--Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have allowed scientists to access and assess previously undetectable plant microorganisms. Scientists have long known that various plant-associated microorganisms contribute to plant health and productivity but were unable to analyze them in plant seeds due to technical restrictions. Thanks to the enhanced development of high-throughput sequencing methods, plant seed microbiomes have been increasingly studied.

In a study published in the fully open access Phytobiomes Journal, a group of scientists led by Tomislav Cernava utilized this new technology and were the first to assess the seed microbiomes of two successive plant generations of tomato plants, selected due to its importance to the human diet. The team identified and characterized microbial communities in different compartments of the tomato.

The research showed that seed endophytes (microorganisms found in inner seed tissues) have distinct compositions and harbor different beneficial bacteria. The team also found that plant seeds were an important vector for the transmission of beneficial microorganisms across generations. Notably, they found that the seed is an important vehicle of plant growth-promoting bacteria.

This novel discovery has an impact for the design of seed treatment. Cernava explains: "These findings provide a basis to further explore how plant seeds can be specifically equipped with beneficial microorganisms and provide the basis to develop sustainable alternative to chemical inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, in agriculture."

More details about this study can be found in Tomato Seeds Preferably Transmit Plant Beneficial Endophytes published March 6, 2019 in Phytobiomes Journal Volume 2, Number 4.
-end-


American Phytopathological Society

Related Tomato Articles:

Untangling the genetic legacy of tomato domestication
Favorable mutations that went along with increased fruit size and other beneficial traits in tomato plants do not always play well together.
Fine-tuning dosage of mutant genes unleashes long-trapped yield potential in tomato plant
A team of plant geneticists at CSHL demonstrates how bringing together beneficial traits in agricultural breeding can have negative consequences.
UF-led team discovers key to restoring great tomato flavor
What's wrong with the supermarket tomato? Consumers say they lack flavor, so a University of Florida researcher led a global team on a mission to identify the important factors that have been lost and put them back into modern tomatoes.
Fertilizer, plastic mulch treatments benefit tomato yield
Researchers studied the effects on tomato yield of transplant fertilizer solutions and plastic mulch in a clay loam soil with moderate or high levels of existing phosphorus fertility and organic matter.
Bad seeds: How the parental lineage may determine viability in tomato hybrids
A group led by Thomas Städler at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Zurich, has performed the first study to investigate the genome-wide changes from interbreeding among closely related species of wild tomatoes.
Scientists find new system in tomato's defense against bacterial speck disease
Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute and Virginia Tech have discovered a new receptor used by tomatoes to detect the organism that causes bacterial speck disease.
More tomatoes, faster: Accelerating tomato engineering
While looking for ways to make tomatoes and other crop plants more productive, researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute developed a way to cut the time required to modify a tomato's genes by six weeks.
Light treatments inhibit intumescence injury of tomato
Effects of end-of-day far-red (EOD-FR) light and high blue photon flux (PF) ratio during the photoperiod on intumescence injury were examined for 'Beaufort' tomato seedlings.
Sustainable alternative to methyl bromide for tomato production
Field studies in two Florida locations evaluated and compared anaerobic soil disinfestations (ASD) and chemical soil fumigation (CSF) performance on weed and nematodes control, and on fruit yield and quality of fresh-market tomato.
Tomatoes resist a parasitic vine by detecting its peptide
Tomato plants deter attacks from a parasitic plant that's known to ravage crops by detecting one of its peptides, a new study reveals.

Related Tomato Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".