Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is an economically important crop and a model species for genetics and fruit development.
In 2004, an international consortium of 10 countries, gathered in the ‘International Solanaceae Genome Project’ (SOL), launched the initiative to sequence the genome of tomato.
The goal was to produce a high-quality sequence that would serve as an invaluable resource to both tomato researchers and breeders, and function as a reference genome for all Solanaceous species.
With the aid of revolutionary sequencing technologies, we have recently completed the genome sequencing. We employed a whole-genome shotgun approach using three second-generation sequencing technologies in combination with conventional Sanger sequencing. In pioneering a highly innovative assembly strategy, in which data from many different sources have been integrated, we have been able to produce a genome sequence of unparalleled quality. Currently the genome sequence is subjected to in-depth analysis to assign functions to all genes and to compare the genetic make-up to the closest wild progenitor (Solanum pimpinellifolium) of tomato, as well as to other Solanaceous and plant genomes.
We are now extending genomic research in tomato by sequencing the genomes ~10 other tomato varieties, including two parents and one offspring line to study genomic rearrangements during hybridization.
Reports and publications
A snapshot of the emerging tomato genome sequence, L.A. Mueller et al. (2009). The Plant Genome