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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Research Project #444214

Research Project: Promoting Tomato Fruit Folate Stabilization and Storage to Enhance Plant Nutrient Bioavailability

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Project Number: 8062-21000-050-001-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2023
End Date: May 31, 2026

The long-term goal of this proposal is to create a general workflow to generate multi-omic (*.omic) characterization profiles of both gene edited mutants and their unedited wild-type (WT) counterpart controls to better evaluate the risks associated with the introduction of gene edited cultivars in agriculture. Supporting objectives will include developing specific protocols to create comprehensive evaluations of the proteomes, metabolomes, and transcriptomes of edited mutants and control WT counterpart pairs. The research will be carried out in the context of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit maturation and will involve available germplasm derived from clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) constructs targeting four different transcription factor genes with functions in fruit ripening. A significant additional activity associated with this effort will involve training and technology transfer provided by the USDA/ARS laboratory to the students and faculty of Tennessee State University, an 1890 University and prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

The hypothesis of this research is that a more complete compositional characterization (including thousands of compositional features plus spatial and temporal information) will result in more credible findings of substantial equivalence, and more trustworthy “safe for use” determinations. ARS plans to utilize a multi-omic characterization (proteome, metabolome and transcriptome) of multiple plant tissues (fruit, flower and leaves) at three stages of development (mature green, breaker, and breaker+7days) to characterize compositional space occupied by the tomato. Since this work is also based on the hypothesis that compositional changes that exceed those of natural variation could elicit concern, we propose to estimate the limits of normal variation using a representative subset capturing the majority of genetic diversity from a diversity panel of 170 tomato accessions that are all generally regarded as safe.