The expanded tomato fruit volatile landscape

J.L. Rambla, Y.M. Tikunov, A.J. Monforte, A.G. Bovy, A. Granell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


The present review aims to synthesize our present knowledge about the mechanisms implied in the biosynthesis of volatile compounds in the ripe tomato fruit, which have a key role in tomato flavour. The difficulties in identifiying not only genes or genomic regions but also individual target compounds for plant breeding are addressed. Ample variability in the levels of almost any volatile compound exists, not only in the populations derived from interspecific crosses but also in heirloom varieties and even in commercial hybrids. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for all tomato aroma volatiles have been identified in collections derived from both intraspecific and interspecific crosses with different wild tomato species and they (i) fail to co-localize with structural genes in the volatile biosynthetic pathways and (ii) reveal very little coincidence in the genomic regions characterized, indicating that there is ample opportunity to reinforce the levels of the volatiles of interest. Some of the identified genes may be useful as markers or as biotechnological tools to enhance tomato aroma. Current knowledge about the major volatile biosynthetic pathways in the fruit is summarized. Finally, and based on recent reports, it is stressed that conjugation to other metabolites such as sugars seems to play a key role in the modulation of volatile release, at least in some metabolic pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4613-4623
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • solanum-lycopersicon l.
  • fresh tomato
  • hydroperoxide lyase
  • nonvolatile components
  • alcohol-dehydrogenase
  • 9-hydroperoxide lyase
  • aroma components
  • flavor compounds
  • market tomatoes
  • bound volatiles


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