More DNA than Us!

Growing tomatoes is a complicated, sometimes frustrating task.  And here in humid Savannah, it’s even more of a challenge… seeing that tomatoes need so much water to ripen to that delectable redness we all desire!

But given our addiction to these succulent, sweet “fruits” of the Solanaceae family, we Farmers keep trying to crack the elusive code that will give us that perfect tomato harvest we remember from our childhood.  Well, we aren’t alone in this endeavor!

A group of plant geneticists from 14 countries has spent nine years decoding the tomato genome in the hope of breeding better ones.  Long story short:  tomatoes have close to 32,000 genes (we humans have only 25,000).  And, by the way, tomatoes have 92% of their DNA in common with the potato… how’s that for interesting!

So… wonder no more at why we all struggle with growing tomatoes just the way we want them… it’s COMPLICATED!  With that many permutations of DNA to align, it’s safe to say that even trained bio-scientists aren’t going to get it right all the time.  You can read more about this fascinating subject here:

Enjoy… and keep an eye out for those Army Worms….they’re still among us! (6/1/12)