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Organically grown tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.): bioactive compounds in the fruit and infection with Phytophthora infestans



BACKGROUND: Tomato fruits are characterized by a good nutritional profile, including different bioactive compounds such as carotenoids, phenolic compounds and ascorbic acid. The objective of this study was to analyze the content of bioactive compounds in the fruit and the infection by Phytophthora infestans of 28 tomato genotypes from organic outdoor production. The relationship between bioactive compounds in the fruit and infection with P. infestans was estimated. Field experiments were carried out in 2004 and 2005 at two locations in central Germany.

RESULTS: Significant variation among genotypes, locations and years was observed for the content of lycopene, ascorbic acid, total phenolic compounds, antioxidant capacity and the infection level of P. infestans. Antioxidant capacity seemed to be influenced mainly by the phenolics and was highest in small fruits, which were less infected with P. infestans.

CONCLUSION: The large genetic variation among tomato genotypes for the content of bioactive compounds in their fruit allows for selection gains. None of the investigated bioactive compounds can be recommended for the indirect selection for increased field resistance against P. infestans. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry