A chemical genetic roadmap to improved tomato flavor ($)

tomatogeneticsThey say that “chacun à son gout” (each has his own taste), but when it comes to tomatoes there is near universal agreement that they don’t taste as good as they used to: a fact that is borne out by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the panel of taste-testers employed by Tieman et al. in their quest to identify the genes that make tomatoes taste good. Modern varieties, bred primarily for yield, consistently show lower levels of compounds associated with consumer liking and flavor intensity. A genome-wide association study identified many loci correlated with higher levels compounds that contribute to consumer appeal and flavor intensity, providing a roadmap for improvement of flavor. Science 10.1126/science.aal1556