For many grocery shoppers, those perfect, red tomatoes from the store just can't match the flavor from the home garden. Now, researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University, USDA and the University of California at Davis have decoded a gene that contributes to the level of sugar, carbohydrates and carotenoids in tomatoes. (Science, June 29, 2012) Cuong Nguyen, a Cornell graduate student in plant breeding working at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), along with colleagues at BTI, USDA, UC Davis, Universidad Politecénica de Valencia (Spain), Universidad de Málaga (Spain) and University of Suleyman Demiral (Turkey) revealed the gene that underlies the uniform ripening mutation. This gene also influences how tomato fruits ripen and is used by commercial breeders to create tomatoes that develop into perfectly red, store-ready fruit.
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