05/29/2015

How Did the Beefsteak Tomato Get So Beefy?

11:59 minutes

A top view, bottom view, and slice of a beefsteak tomato. Photo by Dominik Hundhammer/CC BY-SA 3.0
A top view, bottom view, and slice of a beefsteak tomato. Photo by Dominik Hundhammer/CC BY-SA 3.0

Have you noticed that your supermarket produce is looking plumper? Farmers have cross-bred plants for centuries to make bigger, better crops. Reporting in Nature Genetics, researchers examined the genes that lead to oversized beefsteak tomatoes. Biologist Zach Lippman, one of the authors on that study, describes how genes affect fruit size, yield, and taste.

Segment Guests

Zach Lippman

Zach Lippman is an associate professor of plant genetics at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

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About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim is a producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.