Evolution and Systematics
Leaves of tomatoes break down a key nutrient within an herbivore using enzymatic degradation.
"The growth and development of insect herbivores depends on their ability to acquire essential amino acids by digestion of plant protein. Here, we describe the biochemical and structural features of the defense-related TD2 [threonine deaminase paralog] isoform from tomato that exploits this nutritional vulnerability. TD2 appears to reduce herbivory by acting in the insect gut to degrade Thr[eonine], which is an essential and limiting nutrient for the growth of lepidopteran larvae (11)." (Gonzales-Vigil et al.:5897)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Gonzales-Vigil E; Bianchetti CM; Phillips GN; Howe GA. 2011. Adaptive evolution of threonine deaminase in plant defense against insect herbivores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108(14): 5897.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Solanum sp.
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
Lycopersicon was a genus in the flowering plant family Solanaceae (the nightshades and relative). It contains 13 confirmed species in the tomato group of nightshades; a few others might also belong here. First removed from the genus Solanum by Philip Miller in 1754, its removal leaves the latter genus paraphyletic, so modern botanists generally accept the names in Solanum. The name Lycopersicon (from Greek λύκοπερσικων meaning "wolf peach") is still used by gardeners, farmers, and seed companies. Collectively, the species in this group apart from the common cultivated plant are called wild tomatoes.
Cladistic analysis of DNA sequence data confirms Lycopersicon as a clade that is part of a lineage of nightshades also including the potato (S. tuberosum). If it is desired to continue use of Lycopersicon, it can be held as a section inside the potato-tomato subgenus whose name has to be determined in accordance with the ICBN.
- Solanum arcanum Peralta (= Lycopersicon peruvianum var. humifusum C.H.Mull.)
- Solanum chmielewskii (C.M.Rick, Kesicki, Fobes & M.Holle) D.M.Spooner, G.J.Anderson & R.K.Jansen
- Solanum neorickii D.M.Spooner, G.J.Anderson & R.K.Jansen (= Lycopersicon parviflorum C.M.Rick, Kesicki, Fobes & M.Holle)
- Solanum cheesmaniae (L.Riley) Fosberg (= Lycopersicon peruvianum var. parviflorum Hook.f.)
- Solanum galapagense S.C.Darwin & Peralta (= Lycopersicon cheesmaniae f. minor (Hook.f.) C.H.Mull., L. cheesmaniae var. minor (Hook.f.) D.M.Porter, L. esculentum var. minor Hook.f.)
- Solanum lycopersicum L. – Tomato, Cherry tomato etc. (= Lycopersicon cerasiforme, L. lycopersicum and many others)
- Solanum pimpinellifolium L. – Currant Tomato (= Lycopersicon esculentum ssp. intermedium Luckwill, L. esculentum ssp. pimpinellifolium (L.) Brezhnev in Zhukovskii, L. esculentum var. racemigerum (Lange) Brezhnev in Zhukovskii, L. pissisi Phil., L. racemiforme Lange, L. racemigerum Lange)
- Solanum chilense (Dunal) Reiche (= Lycopersicon atacamense Phil., L. bipinnatifidum Phil., L. peruvianum ssp. puberulum (Phil.) Luckwill, L. puberulum Phil.)
- Solanum corneliomulleri J.F.Macbr. (= Lycopersicon glandulosum C.H.Mull.)
- Solanum habrochaites S.Knapp & D.M.Spooner (= Lycopersicon agrimoniifolium Dunal in DC., L. hirsutum Dunal)
- Solanum huaylasense Peralta
- Solanum sisymbriifolium C.M. Rick Sticky Nightshade
- Solanum peruvianum L. – Peruvian Nightshade (= Lycopersicon commutatum (Spreng.) Roem. & Schult., L. dentatum Dunal, L. regulare Dunal)
- Solanum pennellii Correll
Other "wild tomatoes"
Colloquially, wild tomato is used for several unrelated Solanum species with tomato-like fruit or leaves. The term is inaccurate and may be dangerous, as some of these species may be fatally poisonous:
- Physalis angulata (Cut-leaved Groundcherry)
- Solanum carolinense (Carolina Horsenettle)
- Solanum quadriloculatum (a "bush tomato" of Australia)
- Solanum wallacei (Wallace's Nightshade)
- Solanaceae Source 
- Peralta, Knapp & Spooner: (2005): New Species of Wild Tomatoes (Solanum Section Lycopersicon: Solanaceae) from Northern Peru. Systematic Botany 30(2): 424-434.
- Solanaceae Source : Phylogeny. Retrieved 2008-OCT-01.
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