Virgin tomatoes grown in Verona
UK gardeners often grow tomatoes in their greenhouses and may be interested to hear of a development in Italy that has seen scientists discover a way of growing virgin tomatoes without the need for pollination or fertilisation.
According to Italy Mag, the process involves isolating and suppressing a gene known as auxin, which is responsible for regulating growth and controls the tomato plants reaction to light and gravity.
Suppressing the gene led scientists from Verona University and the Experimental Research Council (CRA) to grow tomatoes without seeds – a feat that could open up new possibilities regarding fruit-growing in difficult conditions, according to CRAs Giuseppe Leonardo Rotini.
Parthenocarpy is greatly appreciated in horticulture because it allows the production of fruit even in environments that are unfavourable for pollination, and because the absence of seeds can improve the quality of the fruit, he told the website.
Aside from tomatoes, greenhouses can be used to grow all manner of fruits and vegetables.
Some examples include grapes, lemons, peaches and strawberries, according to greenhousegrowing.co.uk.