Tomato Research Shows Wild Relatives Benefit from Soil Microbe

Research conducted through the Tomato Organic Management and Improvement Project (TOMI) showed that wild relatives of tomatoes and wild-type tomatoes received a substantial growth and disease-immunity boost from treatment with the beneficial soil microbe Trichoderma harzianum. Modern tomatoes, however, experienced only a slight growth boost and a disease detriment. The research team is interested in identifying the genes that allow tomatoes to benefit from this soil microbe so that they can reintroduce them to current varieties. This could help enhance tomatoes’ disease resistance to make organic growing easier.