Jul 17, 2019 | Updated: 10:03 AM EDT

Scientists Discover Why Cultivated Tomatoes Have Lost It's Taste

May 15, 2019 05:39 PM EDT

(Photo : https://www.pexels.com/photo/abundance-agriculture-fresh-healthy-533280/)

Tomatoes have become a staple food in everyone's salads and sandwiches. Tomatoes although often included in the list of must-eat vegetables actually belong to the fruit group. They contain vitamins that help people achieve young and healthy looking skin. However, scientists believe that the flavor of tomatoes have been going downhill in the last few years and they think they know why.

In a new study published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers have mapped the modern tomato and compared its genome to those that grow in the wild. The team was able to mark thousands of genes that used to be unknown to man. When they compared the genome of the cultivated tomatoes to that of the relatives in the wild, they made a number of interesting discoveries.

"One of the most interesting parts of the study is that we have discovered that there is a rare-genome of tomato they labeled as TomLoxC, which basically differs from its DNA gene promoter," said James Giovannoni, co-author of the paper. "The Gene influences the flavor of the fruit by acting as the catalyst to the biosynthesis of lipid fat compounds. These contribute to its easy evaporation and in its aroma."

Based on the testing that the researchers conducted, the flavor enhancing gene can only be found around 2% of those modern cultivated tomatoes. There are about 90% of these genes found in the wild tomatoes. Perhaps it will take some time before these cultivated tomatoes will start to taste like the really good ones from the wild. But first, people must understand what they did to these tomatoes when they domesticated them.

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