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Harvesting the future - fresh tomatoes get a robust makeover

Imagine a tomato that can withstand the hustle of mechanical harvesting without losing its delightful taste and nutrition – that’s exactly what scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have achieved. This feat, led by Prof. LI Chuanyou, involves the incorporation of a special mutation, fs8.1, identified sixty years ago. 

This mutation, previously only seen in processing tomatoes, altered the tomatoes’ shape, making them more resistant to stress and suitable for mechanical harvesting. The challenge was to introduce this mutation to fresh market tomatoes without losing their charm – and the scientists did just that! 

After careful cloning and characterization of the fs8.1 mutation, the scientists discovered it changes cell growth in the tomato, resulting in a longer shape but without altering the ripening process. This means the tomatoes remain as tasty and nutritious as ever, with added robustness. 

Now, these enhanced fresh tomatoes can brave the journey from the farm to your plate with minimal damage, all thanks to their increased compression resistance. They maintain their sweetness, acidity, and beneficial lycopene levels, promising a delicious and healthy bite. 

This innovative step, supported by the National Key R&D Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, is a boon for the world of agriculture. It ensures that the beloved fresh market tomatoes can be harvested mechanically, saving time and resources, without any compromise on quality. 

For farmers and consumers alike, this breakthrough is a celebration of progress in agricultural technology. It signifies a future where fresh produce meets the demands of growing populations without sacrificing the flavors, we all cherish. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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