In Italy there is a curious story, which concerns the cultivation of submarine tomatoes. It's not a joke, but a particular story of how science can help cultivation in the future. Without compromising the environment, indeed, with a zero environmental impact, and without emissions.
This is the story of Paolo Ruggiero (Dani Coop Agricultural Cooperative Society). Paolo, finalist of the Coldiretti Giovani Impresa Oscar Green 2018 award in the Friendly Campaign category, is the fourth generation of tomato producer and is the innovator of the entire district.
It took farmers around the world to the New York Times. And now dip the tomato into the sea water to bring the farmer and the fisherman together. Have you ever heard of sweetness for salt? Well this sea water tomato expresses a saline sweetness.
This is a very interesting process, which serves to give a more particular and innovative flavor to the tomato, thanks to the properties and salt of the sea water, which will give the product a remarkable taste.
The ageless tomato
It was found the gene responsible for the aging process of the tomato plant: it is called Heb, as the goddess of youth in Greek mythology, because its deactivation will allow to obtain more long-lived and productive crops.
The result is published in the Scientific Reports journal by researchers from the Biosciences Department of the State University of Milan. The study of the processes of maturation and aging of plants is of great interest in agriculture: being able to extend the life of the plant and the photosynthetic capacity of its leaves allows in fact to increase biomass, crop yield, conservation and accumulation of substances precious.
When a leaf turns yellow, a senescence process begins which is characterized by several changes, such as the dismantling of cell organelles and the degradation of chlorophyll. This cascade of events is regulated by molecules (transcription factors) called 'Nac': their task is to bind to DNA to regulate its transcription, i.e.
the process by which the information contained in the genes is copied into an Rna molecule messenger to be translated into protein. Among these NAC transcription factors, the researchers identified one that is expressed in particular in the leaves and in the flower buds: they called it Heb and they observed that it regulates the genes involved in the senescence process, going to activate signals that determine dehydration tissue and the dismantling of chlorophyll.
Its silencing in tomatoes leads to the production of plants that remain young and green for longer, with leaves having a better ability to make photosynthesis and a higher chlorophyll content. This result, albeit preliminary, lays the foundations for future applications that will allow the development of more long-lived and productive crops.