Two beneficial plant traits don’t always play well together

· May 6, 2019

Unexpected interactions between mutations can be a thorn in the side for plant breeders, especially when they’re trying to promote certain traits, but scientists are getting better at predicting them.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor Zachary Lippman and his team have discovered what drove the infamous “cryptic” mutation in Campbell Soup tomatoes in the mid 20th century that made them both easy to mass-harvest as well as branch out of control. After years of research, this team has made huge steps in not only understanding what these genetic mutations are, but how these mutations interact with one another and how, with some fine-tuning, they can be avoided.

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