KARACHI - The International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University, has successfully produced foreign variety of tomatoes known as cherry tomatoes in its green houses on the large scale. This was stated by the Director of ICCBS, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, here on Tuesday. He stated that this is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that any institution is producing these types of tomatoes by using state-of-the-art plant technology. Prof. Iqbal pointed out that the cherry tomatoes have been cultivated for last two years, while this time the cherry tomatoes have been produced on the large scale as compare to the last year. He said that the biotechnology wing of HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, working under the umbrella of ICCBS, was working on this new front. Prof. Iqbal stated that the seeds of cherry tomato were initially taken from Canada and germinated at the biotechnology wing. He said that for initial adaptation the plant has been grown in green houses where environmental conditions were comparatively controlled and insects free environment. After first cultivation from seeds, disease-free and healthy plants were propagated at mass scale using plant tissue culture techniques and cutting techniques. The newly propagated plants are allowed to grow for fruiting in such a system that they utilize the maximum light, humidity, nutrient sprayed. Liquid fertilizers (greener, blooming enhancer and stress supplement), developed at the ICCBS were also used. The synergetic effect of growing techniques such as plant tissue culture, cutting and auto pot system, and liquid fertilizers bestowed upon plant the several characteristic features, including fruiting round the year, longer fruit shelf life (more than 30 days), increased number of fruits, untiring successive, flowering and fruiting and full of pulp. With these characteristics cherry tomato growing facility has been developed at ICCBS Green houses since last one year and introduced among scientific research community. Prof. Iqbal further stated that the tomatoes could be picked when they are glossy and evenly colored, except in the case of streaked heirloom tomatoes. A handful of plants will produce a large volume of the small tomatoes, especially once they really get going in the hot summer months, he added. In cooler climates, cherry tomatoes do best in a greenhouse, especially if temperatures get below 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). The mass scale propagation using above-mentioned techniques is in a successful progress and soon will be introduced for marketing as a new variety of tomato fruit with excellent features and its plants for local farmers for cultivation in mass scale. In near future novel characteristic features will be developed using Genetic engineering, Prof. Iqbal added.