Yellow fruit varieties of tomatoes attract a premium price in many Mediterranean countries, particularly the landrace of Pomodorino giallo del Vesuvio (“GiaGiù” or E40).
The aim of this work was to phenotypically and genotypically distinguish the GiaGiù landrace through morphological descriptors and molecular markers, in order to provide an effective tool to authenticate this product as fresh and processed tomatoes.
The distinctive traits of GiaGiù were the potato leaf morphology and the pyriform shape with a pointed apex of the yellow fruits. The genotypic distinction of E40 was performed by using two Cleaved Amplified Polymorphic Sequence (CAPS) markers designed on a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) of the Phytoene synthase 1 (psy1) gene that confers the yellow color to tomato fruit and already known as specific of GiaGiù genotype. Additional CAPS markers were designed on two private mutations of E40 genes derived from data retrieved from a Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS) dataset, already available.
These findings were confirmed by comparing E40 private mutations with the 360 accessions of the BGI tomato 360 genomes resequencing project. The designed markers allowed the researchers to distinguish GiaGiù in all fresh and processed fruit tomato matrices tested, providing a molecular tool to authenticate GiaGiù products.