Nutritional Quality

Background | Research Program | Publications


Research in our laboratory is directed towards understanding the regulation of hexose accumulation in developing and ripening fruit. We have shown that the portion of the genome of a wild species of tomato responsible for a sucrose accumulating phenotype contains a sequence encoding an invertase. We have identified and characterized two fructokinase sequences expressed in tomato fruit. In order to identify novel genes influencing the expression of phytochemicals important for human health, we have evaluated the nutritional compounds in tomato fruit. Potential compounds with important nutritional roles include ascorbic acid, lycopene, and total antioxidant capacity. Without necessarily knowing the enzymes required for the synthesis and regulation of these compounds and the production of flavor-related volatile compounds, we will be able to identify segments of the tomato genome responsible for their accumulation in ripening fruit.