Wild tomato species have been used for improvement of tomato disease resistance but have not been extensively explored for health-related traits.
“Our work shows that wild tomato species harbour alleles that could be useful for improvement of antioxidant traits in cultivated tomato,” said professor Sami Doganlar from department of molecular biology and genetics at Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey.
In fact, some of the backcross progeny from the populations used in this study could be used for breeding of these traits, Doganlar explained.
Their results can be used to design a breeding programme with the purpose of improving antioxidant characteristics in elite tomato lines.
The team analysed three different interspecific populations of wild tomatoes - solanum peruvianum, solanum habrochaites and solanam pimpinellifolium - for antioxidant and agronomic traits.
The wild species retain allelic (trait) diversity which is lost during domestication and breeding.
The study appeared in the journal HortScience.