Biotech Updates

Scientists Analyze Antioxidant Characteristics of Wild Tomatoes

October 15, 2014

Scientists from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey conducted a study to compare the antioxidant traits of wild tomatoes with those of cultivated varieties. The results, published in HortScience, can be used to design breeding programs on improving antioxidant characteristics in elite tomato lines.

The researchers analyzed three different interspecific populations of Solanum peruvianum, Solanum habrochaites, and Solanam pimpinellifolium for antioxidant and agronomic traits. They analyzed each population's total water-soluble antioxidant activity, phenolic content, fruit weight, fruit shape, fruit color, and vitamin C content.

"Our analyses showed that the Solanum habrochaites population provided the best starting material for improvement of water-soluble antioxidant activity and phenolics content with 20% and 15% of the population, respectively, significantly exceeding the parental values for these traits," the scientists wrote. They also reported that Solanum habrochaites population also contained individuals that had nearly 2-fold more water-soluble antioxidant activity and phenolic content than cultivated tomato. The Solanum peruvianum population was determined to be best for improvement of vitamin C content, with 3-fold variation for the trait and individuals, which had twice as much vitamin C as cultivated tomato.