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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01078

Salinity in autumn-winter season and fruit quality of tomato landraces

  • 1Department of Agricultural, Food and Agri-Environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, Italy
  • 2Institute of Integrative Biology, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 3Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4International Clinical Research Centre, St. Anne's University Hospital, Czechia
  • 5Central European Institute of Technology, Brno University of Technology, Czechia
  • 6Department of Agriculture, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy
  • 7Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems (CNR), Italy

Tomato landraces, originated by adaptive responses to local habitats, are considered a valuable resource for many traits of agronomic interest, including fruit nutritional quality. Primary and secondary metabolites are essential determinants of fruit organoleptic quality, and some of them, such as carotenoids and phenolics, have been associated with beneficial proprieties for human health. Landraces’ fruit taste and flavour are often preferred by consumers compared to the commercial varieties’ ones. In an autumn-winter greenhouse hydroponic experiment, the response of three Southern-Italy tomato landraces (Ciettaicale, Linosa and Corleone) and one commercial cultivar (UC-82B) to different concentrations of sodium chloride (0 mM, 60 mM or 120 mM NaCl) were evaluated. At harvest, no losses in marketable yield were noticed in any of the tested genotypes. However, under salt stress, fresh fruit yield as well as fruit calcium concentration were higher affected in the commercial cultivar than in the landraces. Furthermore, UC-82B showed a trend of decreasing lycopene and total antioxidant capacity with increasing salt concentration, whereas no changes in these parameters were observed in the landraces under 60 mM NaCl. Landraces under 120 mM NaCl accumulated more fructose and glucose in the fruits, while salt did not affect hexoses levels in UC-82B. UHPLC-MS analysis revealed differential accumulation of glycoalkaloids, phenolic acids, flavonoids and their derivatives in the landrace fruits under stress in all genotypes. Overall, the investigated Italian landraces showed a different behaviour compared to the commercial variety UC-82B under moderate salinity stress, showing a tolerable compromise between yield and quality attributes. Our results point to the feasible use of tomato landraces as a target to select interesting genetic traits to improve fruit quality under stress conditions.

Keywords: Tomato, Landraces, Off-season, Salinity, fruit quality, Metabolites

Received: 28 Apr 2019; Accepted: 07 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Moles, de Brito Francisco, Mariotti, Pompeiano, Lupini, Incrocci, Carmassi, Scartazza, Pistelli, Guglielminetti, Pardossi, Sunseri, Hörtensteiner and Santelia. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Tommaso Michele Moles, Department of Agricultural, Food and Agri-Environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, tommaso.moles@env.ethz.ch
Dr. Rita de Brito Francisco, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland, rfrancisco@botinst.uzh.ch
Dr. Lorenzo Mariotti, Department of Agricultural, Food and Agri-Environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, lorenzo.mariotti@unipi.it