Resistance and Tolerance


, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 555-561

First online:

α-Tomatine and other steroidal glycoalkaloids in fruits of tomato lines resistant to the glasshouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum Westw.)

  • W. M. J. Van GelderAffiliated withFoundation for Agricultural Plant Breeding (SVP)
  • , O. M. B. De PontiAffiliated withInstitute for Horticultural Plant Breeding (IVT)

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The total steroidal alkaloid compositions of the mature-harvested fruits of the tomato cultivar Allround (Lycopersicon esculentum), of the species L. hirsutum glabratum, resistant to the glasshouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum), and of four resistant lines were determined by capillary gas chromatography. The contents of α-tomatine in the red-ripe fruits of ‘Allround’ and in those of the lines were low (≤5 mg/kg fresh weight). The green-mature fruits of the wild species had a high content (3390 mg/kg fresh weight) of α-tomatine. The total alkaloid profiles of ‘Allround’ and of the lines were similar. Comparison of flame ionisation detector response with thermoionic detector response indicated that in addition to tomatidine, the aglycone of α-tomatine, a small amount of one other steroidal alkaloid might be present in ‘Allround’ and in the lines. The wild species contained five compounds which possibly are steroidal alkaloids.

The safety level of α-tomatine in tomatoes is discussed. It was concluded that, in respect of the glycoalkaloids of the mature-harvested fruits, the resistant tomato breeding lines are as safe for human cosumption as the standard cultivar.

Index words

Lycopersicon esculentum tomato L. hirsutum glabratum Trialeurodes vaporariorum glasshouse whitefly resistance tomatine glycoalkaloids, capillary gas chromatography