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13 March 2014 11:08 am ,
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Researchers dependent on government funding would face a flat future under the White House's $3.9 trillion budget...
Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure...
Geochemists have now incorporated in their models some details of the way naturally acidic rainwater dissolves rock...
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the world's population at one time or another...
Surface tension is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you are small. It enables a water strider to skate along...
In the shadow of the crisis in Crimea, Ukrainian legislators are weighing a pair of science and education bills that...
- 13 March 2014 11:08 am , Vol. 343 , #6176
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ScienceShot: Tapping the Tomato's Secrets
30 May 2012 1:00 pm
Every year, gardeners grapple with how to grow a tastier tomato. Now scientists are tapping into the fruit's secrets, too. The first high-quality genome sequence of the tomato, reported online today in Nature, reveals the genes responsible for everything from the fruit's color to the sources of its famous antioxidant, lycopene. The tomato (left) shares all but 8% of its more than 34,000 protein-coding genes with its close relative, the recently sequenced potato. The tomato is even more similar to its wild cousin, the small-fruited, hardy and usually green tomato, Solanum pimpinellifolium (right); the two share all but 0.6% of their genome, which suggests they've been recently crossed. The completed genome could help scientists pinpoint how and when the tomato was first domesticated, and it may even lead breeders to that holy grail: an even better tomato. And in case you're wondering, yes, the genome confirms that the tomato is indeed a fruit, not a vegetable.
See more ScienceShots.