Indian scientists develop drought tolerant tomato
Scientists from Banaras Hindu University and Indian Institute of Vegetable Research genetically engineered tomato plants expressing ZAT12 gene, which is known to control the expression of many stress-activated genes in plants. Results of the Southern blot hybridization revealed the successful integration of the gene into the nuclear genome of the transformed tomato lines (To ). RT-PCR also confirmed the expression of the gene in the T2 generation plants.
Of the six transgenic tomato lines developed, five showed maximum expression of gene after exposure to drought stress in one week. This result was consistent with the relative water content, electrolyte leakage, chlorophyll color index, hydrogen peroxide level and catalase activity analyses which also indicated increased levels of drought tolerance.