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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01554

Tomato Fruit Development and Metabolism

  • 1Groupe de Recherche en Physiologie végétale, Earth and Life Institute, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
  • 2Centro de Investigación en Biotecnología Agroalimentaria (BITAL), University of Almeria, Spain
  • 3Institute of Agricultural Research (Chile), Chile

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) belongs to the Solanaceae family and.is the second most important fruit or vegetable crop next to potato (S. tuberosum). It is cultivated for fresh fruit and processed products. Tomatoes contains many health-promoting compounds including vitamins, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds. In addition to its economic and nutritional importance, tomatoes have become the model for the study of fleshy fruit development. Tomato is a climacteric fruit and dramatic metabolic changes occur during its fruit development. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of tomato fruit metabolism. We begin by detailing the genetic and hormonal control of fruit development and ripening, after which we document the primary metabolism of tomato fruits, with a special focus on sugar, organic acid, and amino acid metabolism. Links between primary and secondary metabolic pathways are further highlighted by the importance of pigments, flavonoids, and volatiles for tomato fruit quality. Finally, as tomato plants are sensitive to several abiotic stresses, we briefly summarize the effects of adverse environmental conditions on tomato fruit metabolism and quality.

Keywords: abiotic stress, Fruit set, Fruit ripening, Genetic Control, hormonal control, primary metabolism, secondary metabolism, Solanum lycopersicum

Received: 31 May 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Quinet, Angosto, Yuste-Lisbona, Blanchard-Gros, Bigot, Martinez and Lutts. 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: Prof. Muriel Quinet, Catholic University of Louvain, Groupe de Recherche en Physiologie végétale, Earth and Life Institute, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, muriel.quinet@uclouvain.be