Cherry tomato hybrid with greater levels of vitamin C discovered
A UNal researcher obtained a cherry tomato hybrid with greater levels of vitamin C and lycopene in the Province of Valle del Cauca.Palmira, 21 de septiembre de 2015 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
The fact that this tomato, also known as cherry is an expensive product and does not have cultivars developed for the socioeconomic and agroecological conditions of the country was the opportunity seen by Agronomist Engineer and Researcher Javier Fernando Osorio Saravia to assess hybrids to improve this fruit and better position it in the market.
In his thesis entitled, “Characterization and morphoagronomic assessment of the cherry tomato collection of UNal-Palmira”, he assessed cherry tomato hybrids (Solanum lycopersicum L.) by means of diallelic crossings (genetic pairing).
Although he did not see marked differences with respect to yield of the hybrid in comparison to the commercial tomato, he did observe differentiating quality discoveries, mainly in vitamin C and lycopene content, two important antioxidants.
Vitamin C benefits the skin, the blood vessels and gums. Furthermore it reduces the plasmatic cholesterol levels, improves the immune response and diminishes the risk of having arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.
Lycopene (a carotene) on its part, also has chemotherapeutic benefits and anti-inflammatory properties as referred in the research project entitled, “Functional properties and health benefits of lycopene” by Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Faculty of Medicine researchers.
To carry out his research project Garzón determined the genetic variability of 72 materials coming from the University of California Tomato Genetics Research Center and the Instituto Agronómico de Campinas, in Brazil.
Based on the characterization the researcher chose the material to produce a hybrid using diallelic crossings. They chose seven parents, that produced 21 experimental hybrids.
During the study they determined the heterosis or genetic gain in comparison to the parents and control (commercial hybrids) to become cognizant if the scientific development guaranteed economic future; the control compared were for instance, a Naomi hybrid from Hazera Genetics and others from Monsanto.
Finally through genetic paring they determined how good the parents were to measure the quality based on hybrid combinations.
The assessment stage of the 21 hybrids developed was carried out in two areas of the Province of Valle del Cauca, one at the UNal-Palmira Experimental Center near the rural settlement of El Carmelo, approximately 980 meters ( 3,215 ft.) above sea level and the other at the municipality of Guacarí, at 900 (2,953 ft.) above sea level.
They determined that there was genetic potential to develop hybrids as one named F1 with high fruit quality. For instance Garzón mentioned hybrids classified as H4 and H5; and regarding yield he highlighted hybrids H11 and H20, which may be exploited commercially or used for a selection program.
“These cultivars are an important source of genes resistance to pests such as prodiplosis, which can be explored further to improve commercial tomato crops,” said Garzón. His findings show that there is an opportunity to genetically improve these tomatoes to obtain greater profitability and position them as a key crop in the Colombian market.
In Valle del Cauca, for 2013, the total tomato crop area was 1,419 hectares (3,506 acres) with a total production of 28,756 tons which is equal to 0.29% of the Colombian production without specifying the contribution of cherry tomatoes. According to Edilma Muñoz Mellizo, the Database Coordinator of the Colombian Administrative Department for Science Technology and Innovation (Colciencias, for its Spanish acronym) in Cali, this measurement includes the basic home consumption including the common chonto tomato.(Por: Fin/MLA/CA