Potential Genetic Resources in Tomato Species: Clues from Observations in Native Habitats

  • Charles M. Rick
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 2)


Interspecific hybridization is playing an increasingly important role in the breeding of improved cultivars of higher plants. Lycopersicon is a good example of a genus in which the cultivated species (L. esculentum Mill.) is being improved in this fashion. The advantages offered by the tomato species for this purpose are:
  1. a.

    All species can be readily grown for experimental purposes, and L. esculentum is widely cultivated under a wide range of environmental conditions.

  2. b.

    Excellent sources of germ plasm now exist in the wild species as well as in modern and primitive cultivars of L. esculentum.

  3. c.

    All of the wild species can be hybridized with L. esculentumn, albeit requiring special aids in certain combinations; fertility and viability of the hybrid generations permit the intended gene transfers. All species have 12 pairs of chromosomes, which are essentially homologous.

  4. d.

    The cultivated species is well known genetically; its chromosomes have been mapped cytologically and genetically; it behaves as a basic diploid (27, 28).



Wild Species Ripe Fruit Lycopersicon Esculentum Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Germ Plasm 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles M. Rick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Vegetable CropsUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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