Scientists from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Izmir
Institute of Technology in Turkey conducted a study to compare the
antioxidant traits of wild tomato with those of cultivated varieties. The
results, published in HortScience, can be used to design breeding programs
on improving antioxidant characteristics in elite tomato lines.
The researchers analyzed three different interspecific populations of
Solanum peruvianum, Solanum habrochaites, and Solanam pimpinellifolium for
antioxidant and agronomic traits. They analyzed each population's total
water-soluble antioxidant activity, phenolic content, fruit weight, fruit
shape, fruit color, and vitamin C content.
"Our analyses showed that the Solanum habrochaites population provided the
best starting material for improvement of water-soluble antioxidant activity
and phenolics content with 20% and 15% of the population, respectively,
significantly exceeding the parental values for these traits," the
scientists wrote. They also reported that Solanum habrochaites population
also contained individuals that had nearly 2-fold more water-soluble
antioxidant activity and phenolic content than cultivated tomato. The
Solanum peruvianum population was determined to be best for improvement of
vitamin C content, with 3-fold variation for the trait and individuals,
which had twice as much vitamin C as cultivated tomato.