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Crop Biotech Update

University of Florida Research Team Discovers Genetic Key to Restoring Tomato Flavor

February 1, 2017

To answer consumers who say that supermarket tomatoes lack flavor, researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and their partners have found a way to make tomatoes flavorful.

The team examined hundreds of chemicals found in tomatoes to find which contribute most to its taste. They found that modern tomatoes lack enough sugars and volatile chemicals that are important to its flavor. The researchers studied tomato alleles and identified their location in the tomato genome. They mapped genes that control synthesis of all the "tasty" chemicals and replaced undesirable alleles in modern tomato varieties with desirable alleles. According to UF/IFAS Professor Harry Klee, the genetic traits from his latest study may take three to four years to produce in new tomato varieties.

For more, read the news release from UF/IFAS.