Research on the plants' DNA then identified the two genes which appear to confer the resistance.
According to a statement from the university: "A plant breeding company hopes to introduce these genes into cultivated tomatoes and bring a resistant tomato to market within two years."
As well as damaging fruit, whitefly also spread plant viruses such as tomato yellow leaf curl, though under glass the insects can be contained using biological controls.
The findings are published this month in the open-access journal Euphytica, and can be read in full here.
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