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posted: 6/28/2012 2:00 PM

Can a genetic switch spice up supermarket tomato?

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  • Ever wonder why the tomatoes you grow in your garden taste better than the ones at the supermarket? Researchers have found a genetic switch responsible for some of the sugar production within a tomato, and it figures in the answer to this culinary mystery.

      Ever wonder why the tomatoes you grow in your garden taste better than the ones at the supermarket? Researchers have found a genetic switch responsible for some of the sugar production within a tomato, and it figures in the answer to this culinary mystery.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Using genetics, scientists have been able to dig up the dirt on why homegrown tomatoes taste so much sweeter than the ones in the supermarket.

Researchers found a genetic switch responsible for some of the sugar production within a tomato. A new study in Friday's edition of Science found that the common type of tomato bred for firmness and good shipping also inadvertently turns off the sugar-producing switch. That makes it less sweet and blander than garden varieties.

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University of California Davis plant scientist Ann Powell said knowing the genetics behind the sugar-making could lead someday to development of sweeter tomatoes that also travel well.

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