Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientist led by Zacchary Lippman has
devised a way on how high fruit production of tomato can be attained with an
increase of about 100 percent. This method was discovered in tomatoes by
studying the two hormones, florigen and anti-florigen, which influence the
imbalance in tomato's plant architecture. As Lippman stated, "Plant
architecture results from a delicate balance between vegetative growth -
shoots and leaves - and flower production. To increase crop yields, we want
plants to produce as many flowers and fruits as possible, but this requires
energy - energy that is produced in leaves."
Their study has resulted to the development of a toolkit containing the
identified gene mutations brought about by combining gene variants from
different varieties. Gene mutations can boost crop yields due to balance
created in the florigen and anti-florigen hormones without too much support
from the leaves for energy. This toolkit is not only applicable to tomato,
but to other flowering crops and can be useful for plant breeders in
designing high yielding crops.