Submitted to: Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2007
Publication Date: 11/1/2008
Citation: Fatima, T., Rivera-Dominguez, M., Troncoso-Rojas, R., Tiznado-Hernandez, M., Handa, A.K., Mattoo, A.K. 2008. Tailoring of plants via genetic engineering: Tomato. In: Kole, C., Hall, T.C., editors. Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants. Volume 6. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. p. 1-45. Interpretive Summary: Tomato fruit has become a model of solanaceous crops for functional genomics. Of particular significance is the testing of foreign and plant-origin genes for enhancement of organoleptic characteristics, nutritional quality, prolonging shelf- and vine-life, and developing resistance to pests, pathogens and abiotic stresses. These broad and complex investigations are spread across literature. Therefore, a need arose to compile all the seminal research in these areas and write a chapter for a book devoted to transgenic crops. This manuscript presents a comprehensive synthesis of information on transgenic tomatoes and should become a handy guide to scientists and agriculturists seeking to obtain concise information on the said topics in one place.
Technical Abstract: Tomato has become a popular vegetable as it is an important source of vitamins, minerals and fibre in diets. One medium-sized tomato provides 57% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, 25% RDA of vitamin A, and 8% RDA of iron, yet with only 35 calories. Tomato extract has been used to treat various diseases in traditional medicine in countries such as Japan, Greece, Peru, and Guatemala, and in the treatment of ulcers, wounds, hemorrhoids, and burns. Tomatoes are a source of the carotenoid lycopene, an antioxidant that has been found to protect cells from oxidants that have been linked to a number of cancer types, including prostate, lung and stomach, pancreatic, cervical, colorectal, oral and esophageal cancers. Thus, there is a lot of interest in engineering more nutrients in this vegetable crop for consumer use as well as for reducing chemical inputs for combating pests and diseases. Using tools derived from the recombinant DNA technology, a wide spectrum of genes involved in disease resistance in tomato plants and fruit development and ripening have been cloned and characterized for the creation of new transgenic tomatoes. This chapter summarizes recent literature on the molecular tailoring of tomato to improve the ripening process and enhance fruit quality, alter hormonal balance, develop resistant lines against biotic (pests and pathogens) and abiotic stresses (water deficit, flooding, salinity, extreme temperatures), production of edible vaccines, and production of antibodies and other pharmaceuticals.