USDA approves GM antioxidant-rich purple tomato

USDA approves GM antioxidant-rich purple tomato

Everyone always repeats that "good things come to those who wait" line, but they don't always add that sometimes the waiting can stretch on for ages. In biochemist Cathie Martin's case, it took almost 15 years for a genetically modified (GM) purple tomato to receive regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"This is fantastic," Martin said in a statement. "I never thought I would see this day. We are now one step closer to my dream of sharing healthy purple tomatoes with the many people excited to eat them."

Martin and her colleagues at Norfolk Plant Scientists (NPS)  have been experimenting with pigment production in flowering plants for more than two decades, and they've spent almost 15 developing this vibrantly hued tomato. According to NPS, their focus has been on anthocyanins, the antioxidant-rich pigments that give blackberries and blueberries their signature shades.

"Domesticated tomatoes already have genes to produce anthocyanins, but they are not 'turned on' in most fruits," explains. "By carefully adding two genes from snapdragons that work like 'on switches,' our tomatoes and juice are a rich source of antioxidants, because purple pigments are made in the whole tomato, not just the skins."

Continue reading.

Photo created by Yvonne - pixabay

Source: Yahoo!


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