By analysing large amounts of data with computer software, Argentinian researchers identified the genetic profiles of tomatoes with the aforementioned characteristics. Selected plants were then crossed to create varieties that presented every single one of those features.
"We evaluated 2,570 fruits from more than 180 plants," explained Doctor Guillermo Pratta, one of the authors of the study. Two of these varieties are currently registered in the National Crops Register INASE (National Seeds Institute), under the names Gemma and Querubín.
To create these fruits, the researchers made a cross from a hybrid of an Argentinian variety and a wild species harvested in Peru, whose characteristics improve the post-harvest shelf life of the tomatoes.
The contribution from the wild tomato species to extend the post-harvest shelf life, instead of using genetic modification, is an original approach from this research group, which started working in the mid 90's.
"This will allow us to produce a greater diversity of tomatoes for the domestic and the international markets," concludes Pratta. The team is also integrated by Doctors Sabina Mahuad, Roxana Zorzoli, Liliana Picardi and Gustavo Rodríguez.