Our tomato genome project caters for innovations of commercial and evolutionary interest.
Due to deacades of industrial breeding, our domesticated tomatoes have developed a rather narrow genetic base. This means they are vulnerable to new diseases. In cooperation with Plant Research International/WUR Plant Breeding, and the 150+ Tomato Genome Consortium we are going back to the domesticated tomatoes in the 16th century, the wild tomatoe, to investigate its resistance to diseases.
With South-American specimens from 1542 and 1544, our botanical collection contains the oldest tomato plants in the world. We are looking for genetic diversity lost during the breeding process. And we want to trace novel resistances against constantly evolving pathogens. The next challenge will be to breed healthy tomatoes resistant to new threats.
Flavors lost in time can also be found. Food with a pure authentic taste is what modern-day consumers look for. So our tomato project caters for innovations of commercial and evolutionary interest.