Enlarge (credit: Harry Klee, University of Florida)
Large scale modern agriculture has a fair number of detractors, but the ones that ultimately matter most are the consumers.
And consumers almost uniformly hate what’s happened to the tomato. Over the past few decades, a fruit that once exploded with taste and aroma has become synonymous with bland, textureless mediocrity.
But some researchers haven’t given up on the tomato.
Taking a mix of flavorful heirloom strains and modern agricultural varieties, they’ve deployed everything from chemical chromatography to consumer taste tests to identify the key genes behind the loss of flavor.
And with the new information, we’re in a much better place to rescue the tomato.
This isn’t new work, and some of the people involved were already talking about the outlines of it at science conferences back in 2013.
But today’s issue of Science features a major progress report from a large international team of scientists.
As they describe the issue, a large team of scientists, along with the equipment they bring in tow, is really what you need to understand the tomato.
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