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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #434835

Research Project: Molecular Understanding of the Nexus between Plant Bioregulators, Stress Tolerance, and Nutrient Content in Plants

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-143-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Aug 13, 2018
End Date: Aug 12, 2023

Objective 1: Identify metabolic pathways and nutrient molecules that are impacted by cold, heat, and drought stress in tomato. [NP301, C3, PS3A] Objective 2: Determine the mineral and nutritional metabolite composition of field-grown legume and some non-legume cover crops, and determine how their constituents modify tomato stress tolerance – cold, heat, drought, and yield – using existing transgenic or mutant tomato lines. [NP301, C3, PS3A; C1, PS1A] Objective 3: Determine how plant responses to cold, heat, and drought are modified at the transcript level in tomato by the hyperaccumulation of polyamines and/or the reduction of the stress hormones, ethylene and methyl jasmonate. [NP301, C3, PS3A]

Utilize previously developed genetically engineered tomato genotypes - two that have fruit ripening-specific accumulation of polyamines spermidine and spermine (Spd-Spm), other two that constitutively-express spermidine, one that is 50% reduced in fruit-ripening hormone ethylene (Eth-def), another that is deficient in the stress hormone methyl jasmonate (JAS-def), a cross between Eth-def and Spd-Spm, and a cross between JAS-def and Spd-Spm – and test them for tolerance against abiotic stresses such as drought, heat, and cold, and yield. Analyses for water use efficiency (WUE), gene medleys, nutrient content, yield, fruit quantity and quality, metabolic pathways, and gene networks will be defined. In addition, field-grown legume and non-legume cover crops will be analyzed for their levels of metabolites and biomolecules just before flowering time to provide a lead into their utilization for imparting field-based resistance against abiotic stresses in field-grown tomato genotypes.