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Israeli Tech Succeeds in Growing Tomatoes that Consume Less Water

Besides arable land, the factor that most hinders agricultural production in this increasingly dry region and increasingly hot world is the lack of clean water.

Now, scientists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have succeeded in cultivating and characterizing tomato varieties with higher efficiency using irrigation water, and without compromising the yield.

The researchers explained that in light of global warming and the diminishing of freshwater resources, there is a growing demand for crops that consume less water without compromising the yield. Naturally, at the same time, because crops rely on water to grow and develop, it is particularly challenging to identify suitable plant varieties.

The researchers, using CRISPR genetic editing technology that allows scientists to quickly create cell and animal models, were able to grow tomatoes that absorbed less water while preserving the yield, quality, and taste.

The research was conducted in the labs of Prof. Shaul Yalovsky and Dr. Nir Sade and was led by a team of researchers from the School of Plant Sciences and Food Security at TAU’s Wise Faculty of Life Sciences.

The team included Dr. Mallikarjuna Rao Puli, a former postdoctoral fellow supervised by Yalovsky, and Purity Muchoki, a doctoral student jointly supervised by Yalovsky and Sade. Other students and postdoctoral fellows from the School of Plant Sciences and Food Security advanced the study as well. Researchers from Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev in Beersheba and the University of Oregon also contributed to the research. (JPost /VFI News)

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