Task Force

TAG - Tobacco Alkaloid Genetics - 2017


  1. To understand the genetics that control alkaloid formation in tobacco plants.
  2. To understand the feasibility of conventional and non-conventional breeding techniques to modify alkaloid formation in tobacco plants.
  3. To understand the impact of tobacco alkaloid levels on leaf production and quality.


The Tobacco Alkaloid Genetics Task Force (TAG TF) was set up in March 2017 (Project 140) to review the published scientific literature on breeding and biotechnology methods that affect alkaloid levels in tobacco and prepare objective, written summaries of the various breeding and biotechnology methods reported in the literature on this subject.

The purpose is to provide an objective, non-proprietary resource to assist CORESTA members. The Task Force objectives are shown above.

Timeline (2017-2019)

Achievements presented at the CORESTA AP2017 meeting in Brazil:

  • To complete the collection of publicly available literature and data, which are related to tobacco alkaloids, including biotic factors and non-biological factors.
  • To focus on the genetic factors related to alkaloids. Based on the function of these factors, to cluster them into different categories including tobacco alkaloid biosynthesis genes, tobacco alkaloid transporters and regulators of tobacco alkaloid metabolism.
  • To list the known mechanisms of tobacco alkaloid genetic control based on review of publicly available literature and data.

To be achieved for the 2018 CORESTA Congress in China:

  • To complete the collection of publicly available literature related to tobacco breeding technology.
  • To identify conventional and non-conventional technologies used in tobacco breeding to modify alkaloid levels based on literature review.
  • To make a summary of techniques used in modification of tobacco alkaloids as described in publicly available literature.

To be achieved for the CORESTA AP2019 meeting in Zimbabwe:

  • To complete collection of publically available literature about the relationship between yield and quality of tobacco and its alkaloid content.
  • To draft a final report of the TAG TF.


Updated November 2020

Annual Reports