International consortium, including Hebrew University scientist, ‘decodes’ the tomato genome

The achievement – an important tool for further development of better tomato production — by the 300-plus-memberTomato Genome Consortium (TGC) is reported on in the May 31 issue of the journal Nature.

The consortium includes Prof. Dani Zamir of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University. Other scientists in the project are from Argentina, Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

When Columbus brought tomato seed from America to the old world some 500 years ago, he probably never imagined that it would be such a major contributor to human nutrition, health, culinary pleasure and international cooperation.

This latest quantum leap in knowledge of the tomato genetic code (35,000 genes) provides a means to match DNA sequences with specific traits that are important for human well being or taste, such as flavor, aroma, color and yield.

Beyond improvement of the tomato, the genome sequence also provides a framework for studying closely related plants, such as potato, pepper, petunia and even coffee. These species all have very similar sets of genes, yet they look very different.

How can a similar set of “genetic blueprints” empower diverse plants with different adaptations, characteristics and economic products? This challenging question is being explored by comparing biodiversity and traits of tomato and its relatives.

The Tomato Genome Consortium started its work in 2003, when scientists analyzed the DNA sequence of tomato using the most modern equipment available at the time. Fortunately, with the recent introduction of so-called “next generation sequencing” technologies, the speed of data output increased 500-fold and enabled the project to move on efficiently to its conclusion.

CONTACT:

Jerry Barach, Hebrew University Foreign Press Liaison
02-5882904 (international: 972-2-5882904)
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
Orit Sulitzeanu, Hebrew University Spokesperson
02-5882910, mobile: 054-882-0016
orits@savion.huji.ac.il

Media Contact

Jerry Barach Hebrew University

More Information:

http://www.huji.ac.il

All latest news from the category: Life Sciences and Chemistry

Articles and reports from the Life Sciences and chemistry area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.

Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Using GPUs to discover human brain connectivity

A new GPU-based machine learning algorithm developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) can help scientists better understand and predict connectivity between different regions of the brain….

Detection of cancer biomarkers from blood samples

… using nanopore-based DNA computing technology. Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a cancer type with a characteristically high mortality. At the time of diagnosis, most bile duct…

Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

Researchers at KIT develop perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with an efficiency of nearly 25 percent; combination of materials enables mobile applications. Stacking solar cells increases their efficiency. Working with partners…

Partners & Sponsors