Navigation Links
Gene leads to longer shelf life for tomatoes, possibly other fruits

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University researcher has found a sort of fountain of youth for tomatoes that extends their shelf life by about a week.

Avtar Handa, a professor of horticulture, found that adding a yeast gene increases production of a compound that slows aging and delays microbial decay in tomatoes. Handa said the results, published in the early online version of The Plant Journal, likely would transfer to most fruits.

"We can inhibit the aging of plants and extend the shelf life of fruits by an additional week for tomatoes," Handa said. "This is basic fundamental knowledge that can be applied to other fruits."

The organic compound spermidine is a polyamine and is found in all living cells. Polyamines' functions aren't yet fully understood. Handa and Autar Mattoo, a research plant physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and collaborator in the research, had shown earlier that polyamines such as spermidine and spermine enhance nutritional and processing quality of tomato fruits.

"At least a few hundred genes are influenced by polyamines, maybe more," Mattoo said. "We see that spermidine is important in reducing aging. It will be interesting to discover what other roles it can have."

Savithri Nambeesan, who was a graduate student in Handa's laboratory, introduced the yeast spermidine synthase gene, which led to increased production of spermidine in the tomatoes. Fully ripe tomatoes from those plants lasted about eight days longer before showing signs of shriveling compared with non-transgenic plants. Decay and rot symptoms associated with fungi were delayed by about three days.

"It increased the quality of the fruit," Handa said. "If a tomato goes to market, people won't buy it if it has started to shrivel. If we can stop that wrinkling, we can extend the market time of the fruit."

Mattoo said the finding could have implications for areas that don't often get fresh fruit.

"Shelf life is a major problem for any produce in the world, especially in countries such as in Southeast Asia and Africa that cannot afford controlled-environment storage," Mattoo said.

Handa said tomato growers and possibly other fruit growers could use the finding soon if they wanted through either transgenic plants or natural breeding methods.

"We can add this gene to the tomatoes or look at natural variation and select the cultivars that already have a high level of this gene's expression," Handa said.

Handa and Mattoo will continue to study polyamines to discover how they control biological functions in fruits.

The US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, the USDA Initiative for Future Agricultural Food Systems, and the Purdue Research Foundation funded the research.


Contact: Brian Wallheimer
Purdue University

Related biology news :

1. La Jolla Institute scientist leads team which discovers important new player in diabetes onset
2. Push to understand basis of childhood brain tumors leads to a new treatment target
3. Poultry research leads to breakthrough in genetic studies of animal domestication
4. Obesity gene, carried by more than a third of the US population, leads to brain tissue loss
5. MSU leads global effort to study link between people, planet
6. Chance discovery leads to plant breeding breakthrough
7. BTIs Brutnell leads part of NSF Computational Plant Biology Research System
8. Walkerton Tragedy: 10 years of research leads to breakthrough
9. Rocket science leads to new whale discovery
10. New understanding about mechanism for cell death after stroke leads to possible therapy
11. Rice U. lab leads hunt for new zeolites
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Gene leads to longer shelf life for tomatoes, possibly other fruits
(Date:11/12/2015)... --  Growing need for low-cost, easy to use, ... the way for use of biochemical sensors for ... clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. Presently, ... applications, however, their adoption is increasing in agricultural, ... on improving product quality and growing need to ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced broader entry into the automotive market with ... match the pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. ... are ideal for the automotive industry and will be ... Europe , Japan ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Daon, a global leader in mobile biometric authentication ... version of its IdentityX Platform , IdentityX v4.0. ... have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and are seeing ... UAF certified server component as an option and ... These customers include some of the largest and most ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) Series ... Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November 1, ... which will result in the issuance of 365,518 ... issuance of such shares, there will be approximately ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial ... points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media ... of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Creation Technologies would like to extend ... 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing companies in North America. ... medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement by as much as 50 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, ... focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class ... Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the ... at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York ... . . --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology: