Solanum pimpinellifolium, commonly known as the currant tomato, is a wild species of tomato native to Ecuador and Peru but naturalized elsewhere, such as the Galápagos Islands. Its small fruits are edible, and it is commonly grown in gardens as an heirloom tomato, although it is considered to be wild rather than domesticated as is the commonly cultivated tomato species Solanum lycopersicum. Its genome was recently sequenced.
Its relatedness to tomatoes and ability to freely cross with them has allowed it to be used for the introduction of disease resistance traits in tomato varieties, as well as in the study of the genetic control of tomato traits such as fruit shape and size. Its 900 Mb genome differs from the tomato at 0.6% of base pairs; in comparison, they both differ from the potato (from which they diverged 7.3 million years ago) at 8% of bases.
Considered the ancestor of domesticated tomatoes, it is valued for supplementing the limited gene pool of the domestic tomato. Due to agricultural development, the wild currant tomato is becoming less prevalent in the native range of northern Peru and southern Ecuador. In addition, seed collection is hampered by issues with the Convention on Biological Diversity.
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- http://solgenomics.net/chado/organism.pl?organism_id=770, Sol Genomics, Species: Solanum pimpinellifolium, Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/solanaceaesource/taxonomy/description-detail.jsp?spnumber=4614, Natural History Museum, Solanaceae Source, Solanum pimpinellifolium L., Cent. Pl. 1: 8. 1755. Type: Cultivated in Uppsala, Anon. (lectotype, LINN 248.15 [BH neg. 6802], designated by Knapp & Jarvis 1990), Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- Caicedo, AL; Schaal, BA (Jul 2004). "Population structure and phylogeography of Solanum pimpinellifolium inferred from a nuclear gene". Mol Ecol. 13 (7): 1871–82. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02191.x. PMID 15189210.
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