Breeding tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is an important vegetable crop cultivated in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Low productivity in India is due to occurrence of both biotic and abiotic stresses. Among the biotic stresses, tomato leaf curl disease, bacterial wilt, early blight and Groundnut Bud Necrosis Virus disease have become serious production constraints causing considerable yield loss in the major tomato growing areas of the country. Adoption of multiple disease resistant varieties or F1 hybrids would be the most appropriate way to address these diseases. At ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru systematic breeding strategies were employed to pyramid genes for resistance to early blight, bacterial wilt and tomato leaf curl diseases and to develop advanced breeding lines& F1 hybrids with triple disease resistance. Stable source of resistance to early blight and bi-partite begomo-virus (Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus) has been identified in Solanum habrochaites LA-1777. Validation with molecular markers linked to tomato leaf curl virus resistance revealed that LA-1777 carryTy2 and other putative resistant genes. Several high yielding dual purpose hybrids were also developed for fresh market and processing with high level of resistance to multiple diseases. Cherry tomato lines have also been bred for high TSS, total carotenoids, total phenols, flavonoids, vitamin C, acidity and lycopene content. IIHR-249-1, IIHR-2101 (Solanum habrochaites LA-1777), IIHR-2866 and IIHR-2864 recorded high values for quality parameters like total carotenoids, lycopene, vitamin C, total phenols, flavonoids and TSS. Drought tolerant root stock has been developed by an interspecific cross between S. habrochaites LA-1777 and S. lycopersicum (15 SB SB). Resistant sources have also been identified against Tuta absoluta, a serious insect pest reported from major tomato growing areas in the country in recent time. High temperature tolerant breeding lines are in pipe line.