Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

A tomato by any other gene: Just as sweet? (+video)

New research shows that the bland flavor of a popular variety of firm tomatoes is caused by a genetic switch. Locating this switch may enable scientists to create good-tasting and good-shipping tomatoes in the future.  

By Associated Press / June 28, 2012

This file photo shows tomatoes on a market table. New research shows that a popular variety of tomato is bland because of its genes.

AP Photo/Ronald Zak



Using genetics, scientists have been able to dig up the dirt on why homegrown tomatoes taste so much sweeter than the ones in the supermarket.

Skip to next paragraph

Researchers found a genetic switch responsible for some of the sugar production within a tomato. A new study in Friday's edition of Science found that the common type of tomato bred for firmness and good shipping also inadvertently turns off the sugar-producing switch. That makes it less sweet and blander than garden varieties.

University of California Davis plant scientist Ann Powell said knowing the genetics behind the sugar-making could lead someday to development of sweeter tomatoes that also travel well.

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!