Dr. John W. Scott
Research: Tomato Breeding and Genetics
The overall goal of Dr. Scott's research is to provide improved tomato germplasm to the Florida tomato industry.
Since there are several seed companies producing finished hybrid cultivars, a major focus in this program is to work on long-term, high-risk projects that are not likely to be taken on by the seed companies.
Part of this approach is to develop inbred lines that can be released as breeding lines where the seed companies can use these to make finished hybrids. Much effort is expended to develop molecular markers linked to traits of interest that can be used for marker assisted selection (MAS). Recently, we utilize functional genomics to locate genes of interest and where necessary to fine map and remove linkage drag. Much work is done on disease resistance with bacterial spot, begomoviruses- especially TYLCV, late blight, and tomato spotted wilt virus being some of the major projects. Considerable effort is also spent on resistance to fusarium wilt race 3 and fusarium crown rot. Among the high risk projects are developing resistance to the sweet potato whitefly, identification of genes that provide resistance to the disorder graywall, and developing once-over machine harvest cultivars. For the latter we need large, firm, defect free fruit on compact plants with concentrated fruit set, and jointless pedicels. For yield a major goal is to develop cultivars with heat-tolerant fruit setting ability that generally set fruit better under cool conditions as well. Fruit quality research involves developing cultivars with improved flavor and high lycopene.