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TomaZinco - Producing a high value and functional zinc-biofortified tomato

TomaZinco - Producing a high value and functional zinc-biofortified tomato

Zinc is an essential element for living organisms that plays a role as a cofactor in many proteins. For that reason, zinc deficiency in arable soils is a severe worldwide problem that affects crop yield and quality and, consequently, human health. To counteract zinc limitation, plants developed sophisticated molecular mechanisms to control tightly zinc uptake and distribution. These strategies depend on the expression of zinc transporters and zinc chelators, involved in zinc uptake and translocation, respectively. The activation of these genes rely on the activity of the highly conserved F-bZIP subfamily of transcription factors.

Tomato is an economically important crop fruit that is affected severely by zinc deficiency. A synergy between CIBIO-InBIO and INIAV was established to create a knowledge-based solution for improved zinc-use-efficiency in tomato plants by optimizing key transcription factors activity.

TomaZinco goals are to obtain tomato plants more tolerant to zinc deficiency and displaying zinc-biofortified fruits. Two parallel plans will be implemented:

1) search for modifications in the genomic sequence of key genes within a Portuguese tomato seed collection;

2) modulating the tomato key genes by genome editing technology.

Team
Principal Investigator
Pedro Humberto Castro

Pedro Humberto Castro

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Group:
PLANTBIO
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Researchers
Ana Campilho

Ana Campilho

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Group:
PLANTBIO
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Ana Gonçalves Leite de Assunção

Ana Gonçalves Leite de Assunção

Position: Auxiliary Researcher
Group:
PLANTBIO
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Herlander Anselmo Queirós Pereira Azevedo

Herlander Anselmo Queirós Pereira Azevedo

Position: Principal Researcher
Group:
PLANTBIO
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Mariana Sottomayor

Mariana Sottomayor

Position: Assistant Professor
Group:
PLANTBIO
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State
Ongoing
Proponent Institution
ICETA-UP (CIBIO-InBIO)
Funded by
FCT
Dates
2018 (Duration: 2 years)
Participant Institutions
Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal (INIAV-Braga), CIBIO-InBIO
Reference
PTDC/BAA-AGR/31122/2017
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