Start Date: Aug 15, 2011
End Date: Aug 14, 2013
A list of 139 unique tomato germplasm accessions from the core collection has been identified (in consultation with the USDA tomato germplasm curator) to be characterized in this study. This list consists of heirloom, large fruited round, cherry, grape and plum tomato. Since flavor is the major concern of fresh market tomato, germplasm used is primarily from fresh market tomatoes. Accessions will be grown with two replicates at Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center (MHCREC), Mills River in North Carolina. Six plants of each genotype will be grown with a plant to plant and row to row spacing of 45 cm and 150 cm, respectively. Fruits from the middle four plants will be harvested and used for physicochemical, sensory and consumers’ preference rating by untrained panelists. For each genotype, batches of 12 fruits will be sampled and measured for fruit weight, fruit firmness (measured by a Penetrometer), and fruit color L* (lightness), a* (green to red), and b* (blue to yellow) measured with Tomato Analyzer. Total soluble solids (TSS) content and total acidity will be determined using the tomato juice. The sensory analysis will be performed on tomato samples from both replicates. Samples will be assigned to the panelists at random. Definition of terms to be used for sensory analysis have the intensity of the descriptive terms will be rated at 0 to 5 scale, where 0= Extreme low, and 5= Extreme high. Panelists will rinse their mouth with tasteless carbonated mineral water to neutralize their palate between samples.