International group sequences tomato genome -

International group sequences tomato genome

Countries Most Read Top Stories
International group sequences tomato genome

An international consortium of researchers has cracked the DNA code of the common domesticated tomato, which is hoped will help improve its taste, nutritional benefits and shelf life.

The International Tomato Genome Sequencing Project involved around 300 researchers, sequencing the inbred tomato cultivar 'Heinz 1706' and its closest wild relative 'Solanum pimpinellifolium'. Scientists then compared the two with each other and the potato genome (solanum tuberosum).

The results were published in journal Nature, with scientific contributions from the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, the U.K., Israel and Argentina.

"The Solanum lineage has experienced two consecutive genome triplications: one that is ancient and shared with rosids, and a more recent one," the report said.

"These triplications set the stage for the neofunctionalization of genes controlling fruit characteristics, such as colour and fleshiness."

The tomato has 35,000 genes arranged on 12 chromosomes.

Fernando Carrari, from Agentina's National Institute for Agricultural Research, was involved in the project and said each working group focused on a different fragment of the total tomato genome.

He said the research was important to researchers in the Americas, as the fruit comes from that region, and explained that "to rationally explore native genetic resources precisely, we firstly need to know them in depth".

To read an in-depth report on the genome sequencing project click here.

Subscribe to our newsletter