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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

This plant grows both potatoes and tomatoes

• http://www.dvice.com, Travis Andrews
Seriously.
It’s called a TomTato, and it’s the most freakishly wonderful-yet-terrifying thing I've ever heard of. It’s not even genetically modified (which horticulture nerds will have already picked up on by the usage of the word "grafted"). Grafting refers to the process of taking tissue from one plant and, well, grafting it onto another. That might sound simple enough, but the TomTato reportedly took the British horticultural firm Thompson and Morgan ten years of work (even if the name clearly didn't).
 
Apparently, the tomato-potato plant creation business has been rife with controversy in the past, when firms would just plant a tomato plant and a potato plant in the same pot and pretend they were one plant. I’m not even kidding. Here are some killer quotes from Thompson and Morgan director Paul Hansord:
 
"It has been very difficult to achieve because the tomato stem and the potato stem have to be the same thickness for the graft to work … It is a very highly skilled operation. We have seen similar products. However, on closer inspection the potato is planted in a pot with a tomato planted in the same pot - our plant is one plant and produces no potato foliage."

 

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