Exploration of a Resequenced Tomato Core Collection for Phenotypic and Genotypic Variation in Plant Growth and Fruit Quality Traits

Roohanitaziani, Raana; Maagd, R.A. de; Lammers, M.; Molthoff, J.W.; Meijer-Dekens, R.G.; Kaauwen, M.P.W. van; Finkers, H.J.; Tikunov, Y.M.; Visser, R.G.F.; Bovy, A.G.


A tomato core collection consisting of 122 gene bank accessions, including landraces, old cultivars, and wild relatives, was explored for variation in several plant growth, yield and fruit quality traits. The resequenced accessions were also genotyped with respect to a number of mutations or variations in key genes known to underlie these traits. The yield-related traits fruit number and fruit weight were much higher in cultivated varieties when compared to wild accessions, while, in wild tomato accessions, Brix was higher than in cultivated varieties. Known mutations in fruit size and shape genes could well explain the fruit size variation, and fruit colour variation could be well explained by known mutations in key genes of the carotenoid and flavonoid pathway. The presence and phenotype of several plant architecture affecting mutations, such as self-pruning (sp), compound inflorescence (s), jointless-2 (j-2), and potato leaf (c) were also confirmed. This study provides valuable phenotypic information on important plant growth- and quality-related traits in this collection. The allelic distribution of known genes that underlie these traits provides insight into the role and importance of these genes in tomato domestication and breeding. This resource can be used to support (precision) breeding strategies for tomato crop improvement.