Joint Calls

Thrips resistance in tomato plants

  • Acronym TRITOP
  • Duration 1 April 2007 - 1 Aril 2010
  • Project leader Peter Klinkhamer, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Other project participants Rob Verpoorte, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
    Cathie Martin, John Innes Centre, UK
    Alisdair Fernie, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany
  • Funding The German Research Foundation (DFG), Germany
    Netherlands Genomics Initiative / Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NGI/NWO), The Netherlands
    Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), UK
  • Total Granted budget € 639,396


Despite the general belief that a successful applied genomics project requires a combination of molecular, genetic, metabolomic and ecological approaches our programme is one of the first to integrate this range of expertise. We intend to study a phenolic compound, chlorogenic acid (CGA), which acts as an antioxidant in plants and is expected to protect against degenerative, age related diseases. While most studies on CGA have focussed on human health aspects, our programme will study the importance of CGA for plant resistance against herbivorous insects. Specifically we want: 1) to develop tomato lines resistant to western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) by increasing natural CGA levels, 2) to explore the natural variation in CGA levels in tomatoes, 3) to identify the genetics behind CGA production levels, 4) to understand the relationship of CGA biosynthesis to other primary and secondary metabolite pathways, 5) to increase our understanding of the role of CGA in thrips resistance, in particular to identify possible synergy of CGA with other (phenolic) compounds and to determine the activity of various other cinnamic acid esters against thrips. The excessive use of pesticides has led to resistance of WFT to various insecticides and to residue problems on marketable crops. Host-plant resistance to thrips will, therefore, be an important contribution towards economic, environmental and health benefits.

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