New genes for a sustainable agriculture: Increasing resilience to Nitrogen deficiency in cultivated tomato

High-quality crop production with minimal fertilizer inputs is a key goal for the agriculture of the future. Globally, tomato is one of the most important vegetable crops and its intensive production and breeding has been based on the application of large quantities of nitrogen (N) fertilizers.


In this study, we found that S. pimpinellifolium (SP), which is the closest wild tomato relative, is a suitable resource to increase Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in tomato. We studied a set of 29 introgression lines from SP into the Moneymaker cultivar in different seasons to investigate the potential of SP introgressions to maintain the tomato plant performance during the growth cycle under low N input in greenhouse conditions. We identified specific regions in the SP genome involved in the responses to N inputs of fruit production and fruit quality. Moreover, we identified candidate genes in the genomic regions associated with the increased N contents and improved photosynthetic capacity.

Altogether, our results confirmed the suitability of SP as a source of NUE related traits and the interest in the studied ILs for developing new tomato cultivars with improved NUE under sustainable fertilization conditions.


Original Paper:

Renau-Morata, B., Cebolla-Cornejo, J., Carrillo, L., Gil-Villar, D., Martí, R., Jiménez-Gómez, J.M., Granell, A., Monforte, A.J., Medina, J., Molina, R.V., Nebauer, S.G. 2024. Identification of Solanum pimpinellifolium genome regions for increased resilience to nitrogen deficiency in cultivated tomato. Scientia Horticulturae 323, 112497. DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2023.112497