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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358144

Research Project: Genetics, Epigenetics, Genomics, and Biotechnology for Fruit and Vegetable Quality

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Title: Tomato multiomics reveals consequences of crop domestication and improvement

item Giovannoni, James

Submitted to: Review Article
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2018
Publication Date: 2/5/2018
Citation: Giovannoni, J.J. 2018. Tomato multiomics reveals consequences of crop domestication and improvement. Review Article. 172:6-8.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The histories of many crops used by humans for food, feed and fiber has followed a similar path. Domestication resulted from human selection for a relatively small number of desirable traits with subsequent breeding and improvement emphasizing adaptations to local conditions, tolerance to pathogens and increased yield. While important and easily defined quality characteristics such as seed protein and fruit sugar content are readily monitored, difficult to assay and genetically complex attributes such as flavor and nutrient composition are often side-stepped. In addition, available crop genetic diversity is typically underutilized due to challenges in reconstituting optimal genetic composition if, for example, exotic (wild) genetic material is deployed in breeding. The introduction of essential traits, such as resistance to an emerging pathogen, can necessitate such wider crosses and the additional effort necessary to minimize undesirable genetic consequences of linkage drag. Genome-scale analyses of variation, gene expression and metabolite accumulation in ancestral, early domesticates and modern tomatoes identifies genes underlying fruit chemistry and demonstrates that alleles affecting metabolic quality have been bred into modern varieties as a result of linkage drag. Similar metabolic hitchhikers are likely ubiquitous in other domesticated species.