DRDO develops transgenic tomato

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | Visakhapatnam, Jan 7 | Updated: Jan 9 2008, 03:23am hrs
The Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a transgenic tomato for growing in the cold desert regions of Ladhak.

"This transgenic tomato is in the fourth generation and after its fifth generation, it would be subjected to controlled trials under the supervision of the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM)," said the chief controller of R&D in life sciences in DRDO, W Selvamurthy at a plenary session in the 95 th Indian Science Congress here on Monday.

He said that care has been taken to make the transgenic tomato resistant to cold temperatures below 20 degree Celsius and water stress conditions of the region.

According to Selvamurthy, the Pusa Ruby tomato has been introgressed with Osmotin gene through agro-bacterium mediated genetic transformation to enhance inbuilt cold stress tolerance. In vitro selection against selectable marker Kanamycin and PCR analysis of regenerated tomato plantlets for promoter (CaMV), Kanamycin (npt-II) and Osmotin gene has confirmed the gene integration.

Further confirmation of integration of Osmotic gene has been done by Southern Blot and Western Blot techniques. The T1 plants along with control have also been screened for tolerance to cold stress at a temperature of 3 degree C for three and half days and then exposed to ambient temperature. The morpho-logical, physiological and biochemical studies are underway on these transformed plants. The confirmed lines are being advanced and are under process of evaluation for different agronomically important parameters, he said.