Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Genomics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

SNP genotyping reveals genetic diversity between cultivated landraces and contemporary varieties of tomato

Giandomenico Corrado1, Pietro Piffanelli2, Martina Caramante1, Mariangela Coppola1 and Rosa Rao1*

Author Affiliations

1 Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, via Università 100, 80055 Portici, NA, Italy

2 Parco Tecnologico Padano, via Einstein - Loc. Cascina Codazza, 26900 Lodi, MI, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Genomics 2013, 14:835  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-835

Published: 27 November 2013



The tomato (Solanum lycopersium L.) is the most widely grown vegetable in the world. It was domesticated in Latin America and Italy and Spain are considered secondary centers of diversification. This food crop has experienced severe genetic bottlenecks and modern breeding activities have been characterized by trait introgression from wild species and divergence in different market classes.


With the aim to examine patterns of polymorphism, characterize population structure and identify putative loci under positive selection, we genotyped 214 tomato accessions (which include cultivated landraces, commercial varieties and wild relatives) using a custom-made Illumina SNP-panel. Most of the 175 successfully scored SNP loci were found to be polymorphic. Population structure analysis and estimates of genetic differentiation indicated that landraces constitute distinct sub-populations. Furthermore, contemporary varieties could be separated in groups (processing, fresh and cherry) that are consistent with the recent breeding aimed at market-class specialization. In addition, at the 95% confidence level, we identified 30, 34 and 37 loci under positive selection between landraces and each of the groups of commercial variety (cherry, processing and fresh market, respectively). Their number and genomic locations imply the presence of some extended regions with high genetic variation between landraces and contemporary varieties.


Our work provides knowledge concerning the level and distribution of genetic variation within cultivated tomato landraces and increases our understanding of the genetic subdivision of contemporary varieties. The data indicate that adaptation and selection have led to a genomic signature in cultivated landraces and that the subpopulation structure of contemporary varieties is shaped by directed breeding and largely of recent origin. The genomic characterization presented here is an essential step towards a future exploitation of the available tomato genetic resources in research and breeding programs.

Population structure; Genetic differentiation; Selection; Germplasm; Solanum lycopersicum