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Induction of secondary metabolites in tomato by-products for extraction and economic evaluation of the model process (InducTomE)

During tomato cultivation, huge amounts of green plant residues accrue that contain secondary metabolites (SM). Leaf SM such as solanesol and rutin have a wide range of properties, for example antiviral, antibacterial, anticarinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant impact. Therefore, SM are of high interest for the health segment as well as for the food and feed sector.

InducTomE aims to identify tomato cultivation conditions enhancing the accumulation SM in tomato leaves as well as to analyze gene expressional changes. Further goals are to establish the practical implementation of SM extraction as well as to evaluate the economic chain, from the supplier of raw material to the industrial partner enabling the use of the compounds on the health and food market. Work package 3 focuses on the analysis of controlled stress conditions during plant cultivation targeting SM accumulation in tomato leaves without affecting fruit quality in commercial-like greenhouses on the Campus Klein-Altendorf. With the use of traditional physiological parameters (e.g., gas exchange, vegetative and generative parameters), biochemical indicators (e.g., contents of chlorophyll and proline, osmotic potential) and the HPLC quantification of SM (rutin, solanesol) the performance of plants growing under stress situations will be evaluated. In this context, we identified that nitrogen supply, temporary water deficit, lower temperatures and supplemental lighting are promising treatments to increase contents of SM in leaves. The industrial utilization of huge ‘plant waste’ amounts originated from the commercial cultivation of tomatoes might support higher income and sustainable development of the cross-border bio-economy.

Funding: Bio-Economy Science Center (NRW-Strategy project BioSC)
BioSc Project modality: Boost-Funds

Project partners: Prof. Dr. Björn Usadel, Dr. Alexandra Wormit and Dr. Julia Reimer (RWTH Aachen, BIO-1), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr, Dr. Anika Wiese-Klinkenberg, Dr. Björn Thiele and Laura Junker (Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-2), Prof. Dr. Andreas Jupke, Andreas Bednarz and Manual Lück (RWTH Aachen University, AVT.FVT), Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring, Dr. Laura Carraresi and Joana Wensing (University Bonn, ILR)

Coordination: Prof. Dr. Björn Usadel and Dr. Alexandra Wormit
Project duration: 2015-2017 (24 months)
Website: www.biosc.de/inductome_en


Participation AG Noga: Work Package 3
Topic: Induction of secondary metabolites in tomato by-products for extraction and economic evaluation of the model process
Project team WP 3: Prof. Dr. Georg Noga, PD. Dr. Mauricio Hunsche, Dr. Simone Schmittgen and Tanja Groher

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