Tomato has been considered as a potential biological production platform for plant-made pharmaceuticals (PMPs). However, information is limited for protein productivity and dynamics in tomato fruit. As part of our PMP production project, total soluble protein (TSP) content of green and red fruits was analyzed for selected six greenhouse cultivars. The six cultivars consisted of various fruit types (including cluster, cherry, mini plum, and grape types) with sizes ranging from 10 to 150 and from 14 to 188 g fresh weight for green and red fruits, respectively. In fruit TSP content per unit dry weight (DW), approximately seven- to eightfold variation was observed among cultivars for both green and red fruits. There was no significant correlation between fruit TSP content per DW and fruit DW or fruit type over the cultivars irrespective of fruit ripening stage, indicating that fruit weight or fruit type of a cultivar cannot be an indicator of the TSP content per DW. There was also an inconsistent trend in differences in fruit TSP content per whole fruit between green and red fruit among cultivars. Our results suggest that a low-yielding cultivar can produce high TSP content per unit ground area resulting from high TSP content per DW in fruit. A background tomato cultivar or genotype candidate for commercial PMP production should thus be selected from among various fruit types considering both yield potential and fruit TSP content.
ASJC Scopus subject areas