Crop Science Centre

Driven by impact, fuelled by excellence

Heinz resistant tomato defence mechanism to field dodders revealed


The defence mechanism used by some specific resistant Heinz tomato hybrid cultivars to the destructive parasitic plant Cuscuta campestris, known as field dodders, has been discovered by Min-Yao Jhu, who is currently based at the Crop Science Centre, and her colleagues at UC Davis Sinha Lab.

 Published at the end of January in the journal Plant Physiology, this research could provide a foundation for investigating multilayer resistance against Cuscuta species. The study also has the potential for application in other essential crops attacked by parasitic plants.

 Lead author Dr. Min-Yao Jhu said “We discovered that the stem cortex in these resistant tomato cultivars responds with local lignification upon C. campestris attachment, preventing parasite entry into the host. We also identified four regulators that confer host resistance by regulating lignification.”