Biotech Updates

Scientists Identify Mechanism of Tomato Softening

August 3, 2016

Research led by Graham Seymour, Professor of Plant Biotechnology in the School of Biosciences at The University of Nottingham has identified a gene that encodes an enzyme which plays a crucial role in controlling softening of the tomato fruit. The gene encodes a pectate lyase, which normally degrades the pectin in the tomato cell walls during ripening.

Professor Seymour said that they have demonstrated in the laboratory that if this gene is turned off, the fruit softens much more slowly, but still show normal changes in color and the accumulation of taste compounds such as acids, sugars, and aroma volatiles. The results of their study could pave the way for new varieties of better tasting tomatoes with improved postharvest life.

For more details, read the news release at The University of Nottingham website.