On the Tracks of Traditional Tomato Varieties in Tenerife

TRADITOM 2nd Progress Meeting, April 6-8, 2017

For the second TRADITOM Progress Meeting, the consortium came together in Puerto de la Cruz, on the Canary Island Tenerife. Traditionally, tomato is one of the main products grown on the island (with ORONE® being the only commercial variety registered in the Canary Islands), while now also banana plantations play an important role in the island’s agricultural production.

The meeting was hosted by Domingo Ríos and his team from Centro de Conservation de la Biodiversidad Agricola de Tenerife (CCBAT) and Cultivos y Tecnología Agraria de Tenerife (CULTESA) . It was structured to enable exchange and discussion on the progress of the TRADITOM project and to allow lecturing on traditional agricultural practices and tomato varieties of Tenerife during technical field trips.

The meeting was opened by TRADITOM Coordinator Antonio Granell who briefly summarized the main findings within the project so far; then Jesús Morales Martínez, Minister for Agriculture in Tenerife, came in for a short statement on the importance of tomato cultivation for the Canary Islands that faces new challenges which he believes can only be dealt with research and innovation projects like TRADITOM. He emphasized the support of the Canary Government to research in crops of interest like tomato, banana and other tropical and subtropical fruits. The welcoming speeches were followed by a presentation on traditional tomato varieties from the Canary Island, preservation of traditional varieties and the management of natural resources, held by Domingo and his team.

Dr Roger Chetelat from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, USA joined the meeting as scientific advisor, giving a lecture on “Tomato Genetic Resources: Mating Systems and Genome Introgression”.

Following this, the TRADITOM partners continued with work package presentations, updating the other consortium members of the progress made. TRADITOM partners discussed issues of biochemical compositions, shelf life as well as consumer preferences, environmental effects and resilience of the tomato plants. After halftime of the project’s duration, the consortium additionally came together for an exploitation workshop, revisiting expected outcomes of the project and potential key exploitable results. In order to ensure maximum use of project findings, the consortium partners will continue the dialogue on how to best use results to inform farmers and producers as well as the scientific community and general public about the outcomes of the project work.

The TRADITOM partners reflected on the meeting being an important occasion to align the work done in different locations/centers at the same time whilst being able to liaise with colleagues on techniques used, assumptions made and research carried out in the field.

TRADITOM is a three-year project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, aiming at the valorization of the genetic diversity stored in traditional tomato varieties and increase of their resilience in order to prevent their steady replacement by higher yielding, hardier and often less tasty modern cultivars.

Eurice is management partner in TRADITOM, facilitating the smooth project implementation and communication amongst the 16 project partners and beyond.

The TRADITOM Consortium during the 2nd Progress Meeting
The TRADITOM Consortium during the 2nd Progress Meeting

Tags: Horizon 2020