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Part 6. Transgenic Vegetable Crops

  1. Tahira Fatima1,
  2. Autar K. Mattoo1,
  3. Marisela Rivera-Domínguez2,
  4. Rosalba Troncoso-Rojas2,
  5. Martín-Ernesto Tiznado-Hernández2,
  6. Avtar K. Handa3

Published Online: 15 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781405181099.k0601

Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants

Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants

How to Cite

Fatima, T., Mattoo, A. K., Rivera-Domínguez, M., Troncoso-Rojas, R., Tiznado-Hernández, M.-E. and Handa, A. K. 2009. Tomato. Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants. 6:1:1–46.

Author Information

  1. 1

    USDA-ARS, Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD, USA

  2. 2

    Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, Sonora, México

  3. 3

    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2009


Tomato is one of the most consumed and widely grown vegetable crops in the world. It is a popular vegetable/fruit and an important source of vitamins and minerals in human diet. One medium-sized tomato provides 57% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, 25% RDA of vitamin A, and 8% RDA of iron, yet with only 35 calories. Tomatoes are also rich in an antioxidant called lycopene, a carotenoid that has been found to protect cells from oxidants that have been linked to cancer. Tomato is a member of the dicot family Solanaceae, which contains well-known plant species such as potato, tobacco, eggplant, and pepper. The fruit of tomato is classified as a climacteric fruit, in which onset of ripening is accompanied by an increase in both respiration and ethylene production. Conventional plant breeding has had a significant impact on improving tomato breeding for fruit quality and resistance to important diseases. However, this progress has been confounded by the following: the time-consuming process of making crosses and backcrosses; difficulty in combating the evolution of new virulent pathogens or breakdown of resistance; saturation of the genetic pools available for improvement; time required, 10 to 15 years, to release a new tomato variety. Besides, traditional breeding methods used may not impart the desired characteristics. Genetic engineering or “recombinant-DNA technology” is now a highly promising avenue for transplanting genetic characteristics of one species into another. This technology is based on identifying the molecular unit(s) responsible for the desired agronomic trait and then isolating and determining the structure and organization of such a unit or units. The unit can then be engineered to transform and modify any existing variety of a crop plant. This technology provides a continuum between plant breeding-based varietal development and manipulation of beneficial genes by genetic engineering to develop transgenics. This chapter summarizes some of the major studies conducted thus far to manipulate ripening, fruit texture, flavor, and nutritional quality of tomato fruit using the transgenic approach.


  • genetic transformation;
  • fruit ripening;
  • ethylene;
  • biotic stress;
  • abiotic stress;
  • cell-wall metabolism;
  • pectin methylesterase;
  • nutrition;
  • transgenic;
  • Solanum lycopersicum