July 30, 2014
Genome Of Stress-tolerant Tomato Relative Sequenced
By Andy Fell, UC Davis
The genome of Solanum pennellii, a wild relative of the domestic tomato, has been published by an international group of researchers including the labs headed by Professors Neelima Sinha and Julin Maloof at the UC Davis Department of Plant Biology. The new genome information may help breeders produce tastier, more stress-tolerant tomatoes.
S. pennellii is inedible, but it can be interbred with domestic tomatoes to introduce useful traits, such as drought resistance. Using the new genome data, the researchers found genes related to dehydration resistance, fruit development and fruit ripening. They also found genes that contribute to volatile compounds related to fruit scent and flavor.
The UC Davis portion of the work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.