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West Virginia University working on pest-resistant tomatoes


Researchers from West Virginia University are studying ways to make tomatoes naturally more resistant to pests. 

Vagner Benedito, an associate professor of biochemical genetics in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, is confident he will be able to develop a tomato that requires little to no pesticides. Benedito is working to understand the genetics of economically important traits in the world’s most popular produce. 

“Some wild tomatoes that are closely related to domesticated tomatoes have resistance to insects in very high levels,” Benedito said. “This trait, which is insect resistance, is linked to a structure on the leaves of plants called glandular trichomes that have specific chemicals that will give resistance to a very broad range of pests.” 

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