APR 18, 2017 7:23 AM PDT

Genetically Modified Tomatoes Cut the Need for Bees

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Using CRISPR gene-editing technique, scientists at Tokushima University in Japan have genetically engineered tomatoes without seeds. Though this feat sounds trivial, especially when compared to other medical innovations furthered by the CRISPR technology, seedless tomatoes could transform the ease and speed at which farmers can grow this beloved fruit since bees and other pollinators will no longer be necessary.

How can tomatoes be genetically altered to be seedless? Scientists created a mutation that increases a hormone called auxin. This stimulates fruit development without the need for seeds to form. One of the main caveats that's still pending is the taste."We haven't tasted them yet, but in theory they should taste the same," said Keishi Osakabe, one of the investigators who worked on the modified tomatoes. Watch the video to learn more about the impact of seedless tomatoes on the future of farming.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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