Israel scientists succeed in producing tomatoes with their original flavor - | Network of Specialists in Agriculture

Israel scientists succeed in producing tomatoes with their original flavor - | Network of Specialists in Agriculture

Israel scientists succeed in producing tomatoes with their original flavor - | Network of Specialists in Agriculture

A global team of scientists from Israel, the United States, China and Spain have identified the taste components of tomatoes and the genes that code for the taste-enhancing chemicals to produce new tomatoes with the traits of the flavors lost for over 50 years of growing.

Supermarket tomatoes often look much better than they know. This is because modern commercial tomatoes have gradually lost their flavor as producers manipulate their lifespan, firmness and disease resistance.

However, now a group of global scientists has to identify the components of the fruit's flavor. Their study, published Jan. 27 in the journal Science, has allowed tomatoes to be produced with their exact old flavor, without sacrificing traits that make them attractive to consumers and more durable for shipment around the world.

p> To begin the research, the Faculty of Agriculture of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem contributed 398 varieties of tomato from the laboratory of Professor Dani Zamir at the Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture.

, including the modern heritage and wild relatives of cultivated tomatoes, were selected from a collection of about 8,000 tomatoes we stored in a seed bank in the laboratory, "said PhD student Zamir Itay Zemach.

p> In Israel, Dr. Josef Fisher measured and analyzed the sugar content, weight, size and color. Researchers in Spain controlled the volatile compounds responsible for the tomato aroma. On the US side, they performed a taste test to classify the tomato varieties according to their taste and other traits; And in China, researchers sequenced and analyzed the genomes of the various varieties.

"The research showed a positive correlation between sugar level and taste in the tomato varieties we examined. The testers ranked the varieties with high sugar levels as more delicious, and genetic screening showed that the main gene differing in tomatoes with improved flavor is the one that increases the sugar level, "said Zemach. To study how to improve taste in modern tomatoes, they studied variants of genes called alleles and were able to identify the locations of the "good" alleles in the tomato genome that allow the production of compounds that contribute to more tasty tomatoes. After mapping genes that control the synthesis of all major chemicals, researchers used genetic analysis to replace "bad" alleles in modern tomato varieties with "good" alleles. "We identified the important factors that have been lost and demonstrated how to return them to modern types of tomatoes," said Professor Harry Klee of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences who led the international study, noting that this technique it implies classical genetics, not genetic modification.

A house made of recycled pallets
The house would only be used by him and only a few days a week, so it did not have to be too large to meet these goals. The total area of ​​the house is 90 meters square in which we find a kitchen, a dining room, a bedroom and a bathroom.

"We are only arranging what has been damaged during the last half century to push them back to where they were a century ago. We can make the taste of supermarket tomatoes noticeably better, "he added.

Zemach explained that the results of the study have already been implemented in the breeding programs of Zamir's laboratory. "It seems possible to grow more tasty tomatoes with other excellent quality characteristics," he said.