In the (scientific) news – Tomato genome

Conceptual image of tomato DNA

I read that the complete genome of the tomato has now been sequenced and published. The above is my interpretation of the subject and is based on an image I developed many years ago when the tomato news was concerned with genetic engineering and the possibility of genetically modified tomatoes and tomato paste coming onto the supermarket shelves.

For those not intimately acquainted with genetics the image shows a tomato overlaid with the banding typical of analysis using gel electrophoresis which separates the DNA fragments to provide information on an X-ray film (or, in this conceptual image, the tomato itself) to enable the sequence to be read.

When I made the original image everything was shot on film, which had to be scanned if any post-production work was to be done on it. That and the relatively primitive software meant that I just couldn’t get the image as I wanted it, so the files were stored. When I read the news about this development a quick trip to my local market for some nice-looking tomatoes and resuscitating some of the original work on the image resulted in a much better quality image than was possible for me all those years ago.

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