Crop Biotech Update

Tomatoes Can Now Come in Customized Colors Thanks to CRISPR

November 23, 2022

The tomato is known for its red, vibrant color, a vital trait that affects consumer preferences. Using CRISPR-Cas9, Chinese scientists developed tomato genotypes that come in yellow, light yellow, yellow-green, light green, brown, and pink.

The tomato fruit color is a multigenic trait of the plant and is determined by the accumulation of different pigments like carotenoids and flavonoids. Based on this knowledge, the scientists used a rapid breeding strategy, materials by CRISPR-Cas9 mediated multiplex gene editing, and red the tomato cultivar Alisa Craig to come up with colorful tomato lines. The transgene-free tomatoes were developed in less than a year and were proven to retain the qualities of the original cultivar without affecting other important tomato agronomic traits. The results of the study also imply that the same approach can be used on other horticultural crops.

To know more, read the news release by the Global Plant Council and the original publication in Horticulture Research.

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