Utilization of a Genome-Edited Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) with High Gamma Aminobutyric Acid Content in Hybrid Breeding

J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Jan 31;66(4):963-971. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b05171. Epub 2018 Jan 19.


γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a nonproteogenic amino acid with health-promoting functions. Although tomato fruits have a relatively high GABA content compared with other crops, levels must be further increased to effectively confer the health-promoting functions. In this study, we evaluated the potential of the genome-edited tomato as a breeding material for producing high-GABA hybrid tomatoes. Hybrid lines were produced by crossing the genome-edited tomato with a pure line tomato cultivar, "Aichi First", and were evaluated for GABA accumulation and other fruit traits. The hybrid lines showed high GABA accumulation in the fruits, which was sufficiently high for expecting health-promoting functions and had minimal effects on other fruit traits, suggesting that the high GABA is a dominant trait and that the genome-edited tomato would be useful as a parental line of hybrid cultivars. These results also indicate that genome editing technology is useful for the rapid breeding of high-GABA hybrid tomato cultivars.

Keywords: Solanum lycopersicum; dominant trait; genome-edited; health-promoting function; γ-aminobutyric acid.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Gene Editing
  • Genes, Plant
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / chemistry
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / genetics
  • Hybridization, Genetic*
  • Mutation
  • Plant Breeding / methods*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified* / genetics
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / genetics*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analysis*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Carotenoids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase