Cooked, fresh, sun-dried, or juiced, whichever way you prefer them, tomatoes are arguably one of the most versatile fruits on the planet — and yes, despite mainly being used in savory dishes, tomatoes really are a fruit.
The popularity of tomatoes has led to the development of more than 10,000 cultivars of various sizes, shapes, and hues. Interestingly though, there is little genetic diversity among modern tomato varieties. This lack of diversity, coupled with the fact that many traits are controlled by multiple genes, makes improving plant yield and quality a major challenge for tomato breeders.
But in a study published this week in Scientific Reports, researchers led by the University of Tsukuba explain how modern gene editing technology may be able to give tomato breeders a helping hand.
“The tomato was the first genetically modified food to be approved for human consumption,” says senior author of the study Professor