Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tomatoes: The world's favorite fruit, only better-tasting and longer-lasting

Date:
May 23, 2013
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
Research with GM purple tomatoes could lead to improved varieties of tomatoes with consumer and commercial benefits through conventional breeding or GM. The findings could also be applied to other soft fruit such as strawberries.

Red and purple tomatoes. Tomatoes, said to be the world’s most popular fruit, can be made both better-tasting and longer-lasting thanks to UK research with purple GM varieties.
Credit: Image courtesy of Norwich BioScience Institutes

Tomatoes, said to be the world's most popular fruit, can be made both better-tasting and longer-lasting thanks to UK research with purple GM varieties.

"Working with GM tomatoes that are different to normal fruit only by the addition of a specific compound, allows us to pinpoint exactly how to breed in valuable traits," said Professor Cathie Martin from the John Innes Centre.

The research could also lead to GM varieties with better flavour, health and shelf life characteristics because even higher levels of the compounds can be achieved.

In research to be published in Current Biology, Martin and colleagues studied tomatoes enriched in anthocyanin, a natural pigment that confers high antioxidant capacity. The purple GM tomatoes have already been found to prolong the lives of cancer-prone mice and in the latest findings they also more double the normal shelf life of tomatoes from an average of 21 days to 48 days.

"Post-harvest losses due to rotting are such a serious problem for growers and supermarkets that even an increased shelf life of one day would make an enormous difference to them," said Yang Zhang, lead author from the John Innes Centre.

One way to improve shelf life is to pick tomatoes early when they are still green and induce them to ripen artificially with ethylene. However, this results in loss of flavour. Another method is to grow varieties that never fully ripen, but these also never develop a full flavour.

In the current study, anthocyanins were found to slow down the over-ripening process that leads to rotting and softening, achieving a tomato with a long shelf life and full flavour. The purple tomatoes were also less susceptible to one of the most important postharvest diseases, grey mould caused by Botrytis cinerea.

Conventional tomatoes can now be screened for their antioxidant capacity. Those found to be highest in antioxidant compounds can be used as parental lines for breeding.

"Our research has identified a new target for breeders to produce tomato varieties that are fuller in flavour, and so more appealing to consumers, and more valuable commercially due to increased shelf life," said Martin.

The findings could also be applied to other soft fruit such as strawberries and raspberries.

Other varieties of JIC tomatoes high in a variety of compounds such as those found in red wine are being used by Essex company Biodeb to develop a range of skincare products.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yang Zhang, Eugenio Butelli, Rosalba DeStefano, Henk-jan Schoonbeek, Andreas Magusin, Chiara Pagliarani, Nikolaus Wellner, Lionel Hill, Diego Orzaez, Antonio Granell, JonathanD.G. Jones, Cathie Martin. Anthocyanins Double the Shelf Life of Tomatoes by Delaying Overripening and Reducing Susceptibility to Gray Mold. Current Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.072

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Tomatoes: The world's favorite fruit, only better-tasting and longer-lasting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143547.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2013, May 23). Tomatoes: The world's favorite fruit, only better-tasting and longer-lasting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143547.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Tomatoes: The world's favorite fruit, only better-tasting and longer-lasting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143547.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins