London, Feb 2 (ANI): Researchers at National Institute of Plant Genome Research in New Delhi have developed tomatoes genetically modified to stay fresh for 30 days longer.
Dr Asis Datta and colleagues found a way to keep tomatoes firm for 45 days, when usually they would start to go soft after 15, reports the Scotsman.
Boffins believe the breakthrough could apply to other fruit - including bananas, mangoes and papaya.
The researchers made the breakthrough after identifying chemicals that make tomatoes go soft. By suppressing two enzymes, known as A-Man and B-Hex, which accumulate at critical stages during ripening, the researchers were able to extend shelf-life by a month.The findings are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr Datta said: "Overall the results demonstrate a substantial improvement in fruit shelf-life."
He emphasized that there were no "ill effects". "In conclusion the engineering of plants provides a strategy for crop improvement that can be extended to other important fruit crops," he said. (ANI)