Solanum lycopersicum L. (Tomato)

Crop Type: Garden Crop

Breeding system: Predominantly autogamous

The Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is one of the most popular vegetable worldwide. Global production is estimated in 182 million tonnes with China and India as the leading producers (FAOSTAT 2019). Tomato originated in the Andean region now encompassed by part of Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru (Varshney and Tuberosa 2013). Through domestication, research and breeding activities that were implemented by scientists and breeders worldwide, modern tomato varieties (mostly hybrids) have been developed with all shapes, colours and sizes (Bai and Lindhout 2007). Currently numerous modern varieties are also cultivated in temperate climates across the world using greenhouses that allow the production of tomato basically throughout all seasons.

The tomato is a predominantly self-pollinating plant, with occasional occurrence of insect-mediated cross-pollination with an average outcrossing rate of about 2-5% (Lorenzetti et al. 2018).


Bai Y, Lindhout P (2007) Domestication and breeding of tomatoes: What have we gained and what can we gain in the future? Ann Bot 100:1085–1094. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcm150

FAOSTAT (2019) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAOSTAT database.

Lorenzetti F, Albertini E, Frusciante F, et al (2018) Miglioramento genetico delle piante agrarie. Edagricole, Milano, pp 29–31

Varshney RK (Rajeev K., Tuberosa R (Roberto) (2013) Translational genomics for crop breeding. Volume I, Biotic stress. Wiley Blackwell