Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research adds health benefit to tomatoes

20.02.2004


Researchers at Oregon State University have created purple-fruited tomatoes that include anthocyanins – the same class of health-promoting pigments in red wine that function as antioxidants and are believed to prevent heart disease.


Purple-fruited tomatoes that include anthocyanins, health-promoting pigments that function as antioxidants, created by researchers at Oregon State University.



Their research is featured as the cover story in the latest issue of the Journal of Heredity.

Domestic tomato varieties grown and consumed in the United States do not normally produce fruit containing any anthocyanin, explained Jim Myers, OSU’s Baggett Frazier professor of vegetable breeding. The success in producing anthocyanin-containing tomatoes – through traditional breeding techniques – could help researchers develop even more new varieties of tomatoes with other nutrients, both for home gardeners and for the food industry, he added.


"Tomatoes are second only to the potato in terms of the top vegetable consumed in the world," Myers said. "Per capita use in the U.S. in 2003 was 89 pounds of tomatoes per person. If we could boost the nutritional value of tomatoes, a large part of the population would benefit from that."

The OSU researchers accomplished the feat through the characterization of the inheritance pattern of a little studied gene in tomatoes called "anthocyanin fruit," or Aft. Myers and his OSU graduate students crossed a domestic tomato plant with a genetic stock of tomato that included a gene incorporated from a wild relative with anthocyanin-containing fruit and the Aft gene. The result: a domestic-type tomato fruit containing the purple pigment and the Aft gene, thereby opening the door towards developing anthocyanin-rich tomatoes.

Assisting Myers were graduate students Carl M. Jones, now at the University of California-Davis, and Peter Mes. The OSU researchers grew the seeds of their new cross of anthocyanin tomato fruit in the OSU research greenhouse for two generations, backcrossing them with the original parent types. This work led them to confirm that anthocyanin fruits are transmitted in tomatoes by a single dominant gene, Aft.

"We are learning about how anthocyanin genes are expressed in tomatoes, and how we might cross tomatoes to get more nutritional value," explained Myers.

Comparing chemical analyses of the tomatoes with the Aft gene to those without the gene, the OSU plant breeders determined the pigment composition of anthocyanin fruit gene, explained Myers. They also verified that indeed, having fruits containing anthocyanin could be inherited through a single gene, Aft.

Anthocyanins are the source of the blue, purple and red in berries, grapes and some other fruits and vegetables. These pigments also function as antioxidants, believed to protect the human body from oxidative damage that may lead to heart disease, cancer and aging, explained Mes.

Working with Myers on his doctoral research, Mes is breeding new crosses of tomatoes and analyzing the antioxidant activity of not only anthocyanins in the fruits, but also carotenoids, another class of beneficial phytonutrients. He is also conducting preliminary nutrition studies on humans that have consumed different types of his tomatoes as juice, to see how the various carotenoids are metabolized and which carotenoids prevent oxidation in human plasma.

Industry is interested in their work with higher nutrient tomatoes, say Mes and Myers.

"The medical, the nutritional and the food research industries all are keenly interested in the health benefits of phytochemicals in all sorts of fruits and vegetables," said Myers. "We are happy to find out we can accomplish this in tomatoes using traditional, classical plant breeding techniques."

For more than 40 years, OSU vegetable breeders W.A. Frazier, James Baggett and now Myers, the current OSU Baggett-Frazier Professor of Vegetable Breeding, have developed more than a dozen tomato varieties for commercial and home growers around the world.


###
By Carol Savonen, 541-737-3380
Source: Jim Myers, 541-737-3083

Jim Myers | Oregon State University
Further information:
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2004/Feb04/tomato.htm

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cereals use chemical defenses in a multifunctional manner against different herbivores
06.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht Can rice filter water from ag fields?
05.12.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: (Re)solving the jet/cocoon riddle of a gravitational wave event

An international research team including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has combined radio telescopes from five continents to prove the existence of a narrow stream of material, a so-called jet, emerging from the only gravitational wave event involving two neutron stars observed so far. With its high sensitivity and excellent performance, the 100-m radio telescope in Effelsberg played an important role in the observations.

In August 2017, two neutron stars were observed colliding, producing gravitational waves that were detected by the American LIGO and European Virgo detectors....

Im Focus: Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

JILA researchers make coldest quantum gas of molecules

22.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Understanding high efficiency of deep ultraviolet LEDs

22.02.2019 | Materials Sciences

Russian scientists show changes in the erythrocyte nanostructure under stress

22.02.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>