Despite the significance of tomatoes, a severe genetic bottleneck and intense selection of genotypes with specific qualitative traits have resulted in the prevalence of a restricted number of (geno)types, also causing a lack of diversity across widespread cultivated types. As a result, the re-emergence of land-races as well as traditional and heirloom varieties is largely acknowledged as a countermeasure to restore phenotypic, phytochemical and genetic diversity while enriching the aroma/taste tomato palette.
On those grounds, the Cypriot tomato germplasm was assessed and characterized by a group of researchers. "Due to the thermo-drought adaptation and tolerance of these genotypes, the current study serves as a roadmap for future breeding efforts in order to incorporate desirable traits or develop novel tomato lines combining resilience and alimentary value," they explain.
Ten landrace accessions were evaluated under greenhouse conditions and data were collected for 24 IPGRI discrete phenotypic traits. Grouping of accessions largely reflected the fruit shape and size; four different fruit types were recorded across accessions (flattened, heart-shaped, rounded and highly rounded). Moreover, a single run panel consisting of ten SSRs was developed and applied in order to genetically characterize 190 Cypriot genotypes and foreign heirloom varieties.
Based on genetic indexes it was established that tomato landraces have a rather low level of heterogeneity and genetic variation. Finally, mineral and phytochemical analyses were conducted in order to estimate biochemical attributes (total phenolics, ascorbic acid, lycopene, β-carotene, total soluble content , titratable acidity) across genotypes; thus, ascertaining that the Cypriot panel has a high nutritional value. Due to the thermo-drought adaptation and tolerance of these genotypes, the current study serves as a roadmap for future breeding efforts in order to incorporate desirable traits or develop novel tomato lines combining resilience and alimentary value.
Athinodorou, Filio & Foukas, Petros & Tsaniklidis, Georgios & Kotsiras, Anastasios & Chrysargyris, Antonios & Delis, Costas & Kyratzis, Angelos & Tzortzakis, Nikolaos & Nikoloudakis, Nikolaos. (2021). Morphological Diversity, Genetic Characterization, and Phytochemical Assessment of the Cypriot Tomato Germplasm. Plants. 10. 1698. 10.3390/plants10081698.