PIP consortium promotes indoor tomato cultivation – Urban Ag News

GAINESVILLE, Florida – Controlled Farming – Indoor Farming – offers a promising opportunity to support and grow our food systems despite climate change. This farming system requires less land and inputs than traditional farming. These agricultural systems are often in or near urban areas, which reduces or eliminates the distance from the supply chain. However, there is still limited knowledge about the conditions that many widely consumed crops need to grow successfully indoors, as well as the genetic benefits that can facilitate a crop’s transition to inland agriculture. The Food and Agriculture Research Foundationof (FFAR) Precision indoor plants (PIP) the consortium provides University of Florida a grant of $ 2,112,454 to define and improve the physical and genetic traits of tomatoes that affect flavor and can make them suitable for controlled environments.

“Controlled agriculture has the potential to revolutionize our relationship with food, making our crops more nutritious, fragrant and more readily available,” he said. Dr. John Reich, director of the FFAR scientific program and director of the PIP. “This research extends controlled agriculture to popular crops, while making inland crops more desirable for consumers.”

Research and development in a controlled environment to date focuses primarily on yield and prioritizes lettuce and other green leafy vegetables that provide fast high yields in controlled environments. Due to the current small market for indoor crops, large seed companies are reluctant to invest in the development of other crop varieties that need genetic improvement or specialized technology to make the transition to indoor cultivation. PIP seeks to alleviate this hesitation by investing in research to promote indoor crops with consumer-desired traits such as flavor.

Researchers at the University of Florida led by Dr. Denise Tiemanwith collaborators Dr. Robert Jinkerson to University of California, Riverside, Dr. Leo Marcelis to Wageningen University and Dr. Hye-Ji Kim at AeroFarms, aims at the ideal growth traits, technology and conditions that allow tomatoes to thrive in controlled environments. Researchers determine the ideal physical traits of tomatoes for the controlled environment – more fruit on smaller plants, for example – to optimize yield in a variety of conditions. They also optimize plant growth, grow tomato varieties in a wide range of different farming conditions, and adjust inputs such as lighting, temperature, and fertilization.

This research also provides an opportunity to develop tomato varieties that taste good to consumers, which has traditionally been difficult to achieve in outdoor environments, where breeding efforts have focused on yield and yield. disease resistance to the detriment of flavor. The team selects the aromatic varieties of tomatoes with the best potential when grown indoors and introduces the genes that control the aroma traits into the high-yielding varieties grown indoors, so that neither trait is detrimental to the other. The aim is to discover the environmental conditions that can provide consumers with a constantly fragrant tomato, while providing farmers with a high-yield crop that consumers want.

“Consumers are generally dissatisfied with the taste of tomatoes in the supermarket. If we can provide tomatoes with great taste throughout the year through inland agriculture, consumers will consume more tomatoes and, as a result, will be happier and healthier, ”said Tieman.

The ultimate goal of this project is to establish a basis for future reproductive improvements. The research offers a number of traits that are uniquely suited to the controlled growth of the environment and to the knowledge of plant traits, growing conditions and the analysis of fruit quality in order to grow valuable tomatoes indoors. The research serves as a foundation for the development of varieties with other desired traits, including disease resistance and shelf life after harvest.

PIP funding is provided in part by the consortium participants, inclusive AeroFarms, BASF, Benson Hill, OSRAM fluency, GreenVenus and Deprive.


Precision indoor plant consortium
Precision indoor plants (PIP) is a public-private partnership created by Food and Agriculture Research Foundation (FFAR) to produce new, nutritious, nutritious crops, especially for inland agriculture. By focusing on innovative science and technology, the consortium’s research efforts will increase our ability to produce high-value, high-quality, consumer-friendly crops. Finally, PIP can help food producers grow flavorful and nutritious foods indoors. PIP consortium promotes indoor tomato cultivation – Urban Ag News

Back to top button