Water resources and land are most commodities for agriculture. The world competition for these resources is great and requires finding scientific technologies in order to continue to sustain agriculture
I visited today the Mop Ramat Hanegev with the Faculty of Agriculture researchers.
The aim of the study is to develop a protocol for the creation of mutants that can cope with. water deficiency and high salinity
In the laboratory it has been shown that silencing of the plant hormone Gibrelin encourages the ability to cope with salinity of water
Hormone production is found in DNA at three sites (receptors). Creating an allele in which one, two or three receptors have been silenced will make it possible to test salt water tolerance
The researchers used the crisper method to produce these mutants. (I must clarify that although the beginning of the work is transgenic, the creation of the allele is not a transgenic action and is therefore permissible in Israel)
In the greenhouse today we identified:
Silencing the three receptors resulted in a dwarf plant that was not completely suitable
Silencing one or two receptors caused the plants to have smaller growth compared to the control but to embalm and produce fruit at a level and quantity that does not fall short of the control. The measurement today was not quantitative and of course it will be necessary to prove conclusively at the end of the experiment when the fruit will be collected, tested and all the information will be compared to the control.
Assuming that the research will go well, because then we will have a protocol of allele production that regulates the level of the hormone. This allele could be injected into tomato varieties.
Success in this experiment will encourage the use of brackish water. The fact that the mutant plants have less foliage will allow more plants to grow in a unit of land area
These two factors will reduce the cost of cultivation and allow for economic encouragement for farmers and of course increased food production
It will also be necessary to check additional parameters such as the quality of the fruit, the level of lycopene in it (in the case of the tomato in which we do the experiment) .
The experiment will be completed in about a month to two months. Final results will be sent by the researcher
ICA also had the opportunity to encourage through this study a joint work of the University on researchers in the Ramat Negev