TECHNICAL COOPERATION TO IDENTIFY MOLECULAR MARKERS IN TOMATO
RDA Korea and the World Vegetable Center continue their long-term research relationship
Tomato is the top vegetable crop worldwide,and consumption is increasing in Africa and Asia. The tomato seed market is worth about $1 billion and is increasing by 6.5% annually.
Research to develop molecular marker techniques shortens breeding cycles and improves the efficiency of selection during the breeding process. These methods can be used to identify useful traits and develop resilient, pest- and disease-resistant varieties for the tropics and subtropics to cope with endemic and newly emerging diseases and insect pests.
The World Vegetable Center and the Rural Development Administration (RDA), Republic of Korea, have embarked on a technical cooperation project to identify molecular markers associated with disease and insect resistance for marker assisted selection in tomato breeding programs. Specific goals are to map bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum) and whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) resistance loci.
Il-Sheob Shin, an RDA scientist seconded to the Center, is the project’s principal investigator, under the supervision of Roland Schafleitner, head of Biotechnology/Molecular Breeding.
The research aims to contribute to global knowledge about the morphological, agronomic and genetic traits of major tomato cultivars, and to enhance tomato breeding efficiency.