We are interested in exploiting standing quantitative genetic variation for disease resistance to breed improved tomato varieties specifically for use in urban gardens. Where rural farmers can rely upon crop rotation to manage disease in crops, urban gardeners have (typically) very limited options for garden space. Gene flow between cultivars with low to medium disease resistance (that has polygenic inheritance) may facilitate faster evolution of disease resistance. Our primary objective is to first measure the phenotype of six cultivars under relatively low disease pressure (and in a separate experiment away from KSR, assess the relative disease resistance of each cultivar under relatively severe disease conditions).
Principal Investigator: Dr. Lesley Campbell