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International Journal of Plant Genomics
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 64358, 52 pages
Review Article

Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding of Tomato

Department of Horticulture and The Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs in Genetics and Plant Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802, PA, USA

Received 4 December 2006; Accepted 10 April 2007

Academic Editor: Sylvie Cloutier

Copyright © 2007 Majid R. Foolad. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The cultivated tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, is the second most consumed vegetable worldwide and a well-studied crop species in terms of genetics, genomics, and breeding. It is one of the earliest crop plants for which a genetic linkage map was constructed, and currently there are several molecular maps based on crosses between the cultivated and various wild species of tomato. The high-density molecular map, developed based on an L. esculentum×L. pennellii cross, includes more than 2200 markers with an average marker distance of less than 1 cM and an average of 750 kbp per cM. Different types of molecular markers such as RFLPs, AFLPs, SSRs, CAPS, RGAs, ESTs, and COSs have been developed and mapped onto the 12 tomato chromosomes. Markers have been used extensively for identification and mapping of genes and QTLs for many biologically and agriculturally important traits and occasionally for germplasm screening, fingerprinting, and marker-assisted breeding. The utility of MAS in tomato breeding has been restricted largely due to limited marker polymorphism within the cultivated species and economical reasons. Also, when used, MAS has been employed mainly for improving simply-inherited traits and not much for improving complex traits. The latter has been due to unavailability of reliable PCR-based markers and problems with linkage drag. Efforts are being made to develop high-throughput markers with greater resolution, including SNPs. The expanding tomato EST database, which currently includes ∼214 000 sequences, the new microarray DNA chips, and the ongoing sequencing project are expected to aid development of more practical markers. Several BAC libraries have been developed that facilitate map-based cloning of genes and QTLs. Sequencing of the euchromatic portions of the tomato genome is paving the way for comparative and functional analysis of important genes and QTLs.