Submitted to: Nature Biotechnology
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 2006
Publication Date: April 10, 2006
Citation: Giovannoni, J.J. 2006. Breeding new life into plant metabolism. Nature Biotechnology. 24:418-419. Technical Abstract: Mutation breeding has proven effective in expanding a number of important tomato fruit and performance phenotypes but these genetic resources are limited even in this model system of fruit development. Transgenic approaches to improve quality, while minimizing negative influences on necessary horticultural traits, have proven encouraging though their practical implementation remains encumbered by regulatory constraints and consumer skepticism. Schauer and colleagues demonstrate the potential for greater than order of magnitude changes in metabolite levels within the genetic reservoir of a single wild relative. Exceptional variation was observed even for metabolites which did not vary significantly between the parents of the IL population, demonstrating that enormous genetic potential remains to be exploited in tomato. The same is certain to be true for many important crops species.