The genetic basis of tomato aroma

Martina, Matteo; Tikunov, Yury; Portis, Ezio; Bovy, Arnaud G.


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) aroma is determined by the interaction of volatile compounds (VOCs) released by the tomato fruits with receptors in the nose, leading to a sensorial impression, such as “sweet”, “smoky”, or “fruity” aroma. Of the more than 400 VOCs released by tomato fruits, 21 have been reported as main contributors to the perceived tomato aroma. These VOCs can be grouped in five clusters, according to their biosynthetic origins. In the last decades, a vast array of scientific studies has investigated the genetic component of tomato aroma in modern tomato cultivars and their relatives. In this paper we aim to collect, compare, integrate and summarize the available literature on flavour-related QTLs in tomato. Three hundred and 5ifty nine (359) QTLs associated with tomato fruit VOCs were physically mapped on the genome and investigated for the presence of potential candidate genes. This review makes it possible to (i) pinpoint potential donors described in literature for specific traits, (ii) highlight important QTL regions by combining information from different populations, and (iii) pinpoint potential candidate genes. This overview aims to be a valuable resource for researchers aiming to elucidate the genetics underlying tomato flavour and for breeders who aim to improve tomato aroma.