Accumulation of anthocyanins in tomato skin extends shelf life
- Shelf life is one of the most important traits for the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) industry. Two key factors, post-harvest over-ripening and susceptibility to post-harvest pathogen infection, determine tomato shelf life.
- Anthocyanins accumulate in the skin of Aft/Aft atv/atv tomatoes, the result of introgressing alleles affecting anthocyanin biosynthesis in fruit from two wild relatives of tomato, which results in extended fruit shelf life. Compared with ordinary, anthocyanin-less tomatoes, the fruits of Aft/Aft atv/atv keep longer during storage and are less susceptible to Botrytis cinerea, a major tomato pathogen, post-harvest.
- Using genetically modified tomatoes over-producing anthocyanins, we confirmed that skin-specific accumulation of anthocyanins in tomato is sufficient to reduce the susceptibility of fruit to Botrytis cinerea.
- Our data indicate that accumulation of anthocyanins in tomato fruit, achieved either by traditional breeding or genetic engineering can be an effective way to extend tomato shelf life.