Trials at a University of Florida research station found tomato plants that contained the bacterial-spot-resistant gene had far fewer disease symptoms than untreated plants.Bacterial spot is one of the biggest disease headaches for tomato growers in the Southeast.
Although most of the commercially available bactericides provide marginal control, at best, a new technique that uses genetic engineering offers hope.
The technology involves taking a naturally occurring gene from peppers that offers bacterial spot resistance and inserting it into a tomato gene.
To help explain this experimental technique, Focus on Tonato has launched an 18-minute Web seminar titled, Effective Transgenic Resistance to Bacterial Leaf Spot in Florida Tomatoes.
It is hosted by Diana Horvath, director ad chief operating officer of the Two Blades Foundation, which is helping fund the research.
In trials, the technology has helped minimize incidences of bacterial spot without the use of copper.
The Web seminar is open access through May 31.
Focus on Tomato is produced by the Plant Management Network, a collaborative effort among the American Phytopathological Society, American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America.