Indestructible tomatoes explained
July 2, 2012
Consumers have known for years that tomatoes from the grocer often taste bland, have bad texture, and can be as hard as baseballs.
And while it is no mystery that the fruit was the result of scientific tinkering to create a better-looking and tougher-skinned tomato which ships more easily, the real reason for the diminishing quality has been heretofore unknown. (San Jose Mercury News)
But UC Davis biochemist Ann Powell has come up with the answer — it’s a disabled GLK2 gene. That’s essentially why that perfectly-shaped and bright red tomato found in supermarkets has no taste.
Simply stated, the clinical removal of the GLK2 gene resulted in the diminishing of tomatoes’ sugar content. The gene controls the development of chloroplasts, structures in the plant enabling it to photosynthesize and create sugars.
That affects both the taste and color of the fruit, said researchers. Originally, tomato breeders thought the alteration increased nutritional value, also.