Brief Communications abstract

Nature Biotechnology 25, 899 - 901 (2007)
Published online: 24 June 2007 | doi:10.1038/nbt1312

Enrichment of tomato flavor by diversion of the early plastidial terpenoid pathway

Rachel Davidovich-Rikanati1,2, Yaron Sitrit3, Yaakov Tadmor1, Yoko Iijima4,8, Natalya Bilenko5, Einat Bar1, Bentsi Carmona1, Elazar Fallik6, Nativ Dudai1, James E Simon7, Eran Pichersky4 & Efraim Lewinsohn1


We have modified the flavor and aroma of tomatoes by expressing the Ocimum basilicum geraniol synthase gene under the control of the tomato ripening–specific polygalacturonase promoter. A majority of untrained taste panelists preferred the transgenic fruits over controls. Monoterpene accumulation was at the expense of reduced lycopene accumulation. Similar approaches may be applicable for carotenoid-accumulating fruits and flowers of other species.

  1. Department of Vegetable Crops, Newe Ya'ar Research Center, Agricultural Research Organization, PO Box 1021, Ramat Yishay, 30095 Israel.
  2. Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel.
  3. The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 653, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
  4. Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, 830 N. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109–1048, USA.
  5. The S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition, Epidemiology and Health Services Evaluation Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel.
  6. Department of Postharvest Science, The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Bet Dagan 50250 lsrael.
  7. New Use Agriculture & Natural Plant Products Program, Department of Plant Biology and Plant Pathology, Rutgers University, Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, U.S.A.
  8. Present address: Department of Biotechnology Research, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, 2-5-23 Kazusa-Kamatari, Kisarazu, Chiba 292-0818, Japan.

Correspondence to: Efraim Lewinsohn1 e-mail:

Correspondence to: Yaron Sitrit3 e-mail:


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