Over 400 people from around the world got online at the same time to listen to international experts discuss the status and challenges surrounding conserving, exchanging and using the diversity of fruits and vegetables in 2021, the International Year of Fruits of Vegetables (IYFV).
A balanced nutritional diet rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins is of vital importance for human health. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources for most of these dietary phytochemicals and micronutrients. However, today’s most common diets consist mainly of starchy staples and less of nutrient-rich foods or fruits and vegetables, particularly in the developing world. Keeping in view that the UN General Assembly designated the year 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.
Tomatoes are one of the most popular types of fresh produce consumed worldwide, as well as being an important ingredient in many manufactured foods. As with other cultivated crops, some potentially useful genes that were present in its South American ancestors were lost during domestication and breeding of the modern tomato, Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum. Because of its importance as a crop, the tomato genome sequence was completed and published as long ago as 2012, with later additions and improvements. Now researchers have produced high-quality genome sequences of two wild ancestors of tomato from Peru, Solanum pimpinellifolium and Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme.
In the strawberry nursery industry, a nursery’s reputation relies on their ability to produce disease- and insect-free plants. The best way to produce clean plants is to start with clean planting stock. Many nurseries struggle with angular leaf spot of strawberry, a serious disease that can result in severe losses either by directly damaging the plant or indirectly through a violation of quarantine standards within the industry.
Most legume species have compound leaves with multiple joined units termed leaflets, and the geometry of leaflets (the spatial structure and organization of leaflets) largely determines the compound leaf shape, which has been broadly recognized in model compound-leafed species.
The sensory quality of watermelon fruit is determined by the content of sugar and organic acid, which determines the taste of watermelon during the development and maturation of watermelon fruit. The changes of sugar and organic acid during the watermelon fruit development were analyzed and the key gene networks controlling the metabolism of sugar and organic acid during the fruit development were identified.
Bright red, tasty and healthy, that’s how we know and love bell peppers. A research team has deciphered in detail at the protein level what makes them turn red as they ripen. At the heart of the project are the so-called plastids, typical plant cell organelles in which chlorophyll is broken down and carotenoids are produced as the fruit ripens. Visually, this transformation is clearly visible in the colour change from green to orange or red.
The popularity of tomatoes has led to the development of more than 10,000 cultivars of various sizes, shapes, and hues. Interestingly though, there is little genetic diversity among modern tomato varieties. This lack of diversity, coupled with the fact that many traits are controlled by multiple genes, makes improving plant yield and quality a major challenge for tomato breeders. A research team shows that modern gene editing techniques can help tomato breeders introduce diversity and improve the nutrition and environmental impact of tomato crops.
Downy mildew is the biggest threat to spinach production around the world. While the pathogen has a short life cycle (approximately a week), it can produce millions of spores during the spinach growing season. Overhead sprinkler irrigation systems and dew formation on cool nights leads to more moisture, which enables these spores to infect the spinach.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is a crop of great economic and agricultural value throughout the world. In 2019, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) reported that over 7 million hectares are dedicated to the cultivation of this crop, resulting in the global production of about 78 million tonnes of grape and 292 million of hectolitres of wine. However, a production of this magnitude is possible thanks to the massive use of pesticides to counteract various diseases that can affect grape yield. Indeed, pesticide applications are at the basis of intensive agriculture, as they guarantee protection from pathogens, pests and weeds. In absence of pesticide applications, farmers could experience up to 40% of production losses in a single year.