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Flavour Changer: Genome Could Enhance Tomato Taste

from BBC News Online

The successful sequencing of the tomato genome will lead to tastier varieties within five years say scientists. They believe that the elusive flavour of home grown tomatoes will by then be widely available in supermarkets. Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers say the genetic information could reduce the need for pesticides.

The authors believe the genome will also boost conventional breeding techniques over genetic modification. While the sheer numbers and varieties of tomatoes available in UK shops have increased substantially in the past 20 years, many consumers would complain that this growth has been at the expense of flavour.

Scientists like Professor Graham Seymour at the University of Nottingham would tend to agree. "In the early 1990s what changed the tomato industry was the use of non-ripening mutant genes, genes that came from natural mutations that have been used to extend shelf life in the fruit.

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