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Open AccessArticle

Drought Stress Affects the Response of Italian Local Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Varieties in a Genotype-Dependent Manner

1
Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, SI 53100, Italy
2
CNR-IBE (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto per la Bioeconomia), Follonica, GR 58022, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Plants 2019, 8(9), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090336
Received: 2 August 2019 / Revised: 2 September 2019 / Accepted: 5 September 2019 / Published: 7 September 2019
Drought stress is one of the most severe conditions for plants, especially in the face of the emerging problem of global warming. This issue is important when considering economically relevant crops, including the tomato. For these plants, a promising solution is the valorization of local agrobiodiversity as a source of genetic variability. In this paper we investigated how six Italian tomato varieties react to a prolonged period of water depletion. We used a multidisciplinary approach, from genetics to plant physiology and cytology, to provide a detailed overview of the response of plants to stress. The varieties analyzed, each characterized by a specific genetic profile, showed a genotype-specific response with the variety ‘Fragola’ being the most resistant and the variety ‘Pisanello’ the most susceptible. For all the parameters evaluated, ‘Fragola’ performed in a manner comparable to that of control plants. On the contrary, ‘Pisanello’ appeared to be more affected and showed an increase in the number of stomata and a drastic increase in antioxidants, a symptom of acute oxidative stress. Our work suggests the existence of a valuable reservoir of genetic biodiversity with more drought-tolerant tomato genotypes opening the way to further exploitation and use of local germplasm in breeding programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: tomato; Italian varieties; drought stress; oxidative stress; physiological response tomato; Italian varieties; drought stress; oxidative stress; physiological response
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MDPI and ACS Style

Conti, V.; Mareri, L.; Faleri, C.; Nepi, M.; Romi, M.; Cai, G.; Cantini, C. Drought Stress Affects the Response of Italian Local Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Varieties in a Genotype-Dependent Manner. Plants 2019, 8, 336.

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