Fruit flavour of traditional tomato ecotypes differs from that of modern varieties, the latter being often blamed for lack of flavour. To respond to consumer complaints breeders should know the range of genetic variability available in tomato resources, including local ecotypes, for improving flavour. For this purpose, multitrait characterization, including biochemical, sensorial and molecular analyses, was performed on 12 Italian tomato ecotypes that belong to different types (San Marzano, Sorrento, and Vesuvio). The ecotypes showed a significant variation both in glucose and citric acid content. As for amino acid determination, lysine, aspartic acid and serine showed significant variation among the three types analyzed. Sensory analysis clearly evidenced differences among genotypes: the San Marzano ecotypes revealed sensory profiles that differ from the control processing variety in perception of sweetness and sourness, whereas the Sorrento and Vesuvio ecotype profiles were similar to the fresh market control. In particular, Vesuvio genotypes exhibited a good intensity of tomato aroma and sweetness and an intermediate level of acidity. Finally, molecular characterization performed through AFLP markers provided evidence for a very high level of polymorphism: an ecotype-specific AFLP pattern was identified for at least 11 genotypes, thus defining their molecular fingerprints.
- AFLP markers
- Solanum lycopersicum