Gene editing to produce doubly-determinate, early-yielding tomatoes ($)

picture5Tomatoes have an indeterminate growth pattern that arises from the balance of flower-promoting (florigen) and flower repressing activities. Suppressing this flower-repressing activity leads to greater determinacy and facilitates cultivation. Soyk et al. compared flowering times in short- and long-days in close relatives of domesticated tomato, with a QTL analysis revealing two related genes, SFT (encoding florigen) and SP5G. Null alleles of SP5G, generated by CRISPR/Cas9, showed significantly earlier flowering in long days. Combining this with a mutation in the flower-repressing  SELF PRUNING (SP) gene led to even greater determinacy, translating to an early crop yield. This paper shows the potential of gene-editing to rapidly and specifically alter plant growth patterns and yields. Nature Genet. 10.1038/ng.3733