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Tomato is an excellent model for studying fruit development, and this characteristic makes it an attractive research target for practical application in food and agricultural industries. Tomato is considered as a model species of Solanaceae, and its genome is currently being sequenced by an international consortium (SOL). In order to fully utilize the genome information, which should be available in a few years, Japan urgently needs to develop its original collection of tomato resources. The University of Tsukuba and Osaka Prefecture University launched on the tomato resource development program within the framework of the National BioResource Project (NBRP).

The core facility, the University of Tsukuba, is responsible for developing individual-level resources: preservation, propagation, distribution and promotion of Micro-Tom mutant lines generated by ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) treatment and gamma-ray irradiation; collection, propagation, preservation and distribution of transgenic lines and experimental strains; and development of a database for the preserved strains. Osaka Prefecture University is the sub-facility and its task is to develop DNA-level resources: maintenance, distribution, database archiving and promotion of full-length cDNA clones; and collection, preservation and distribution of tomato promoter and cDNA clones.

Hiroshi Ezura, University of Tsukuba
Koh Aoki, Osaka Prefecture University