OK, so they weren't bored with mapping the human genome, but some scientists decided to go ahead map the genome of a tomato. A Heinz 1706 tomato, that is, which has about 35,000 genes arranged on 12 chromosomes.
"For any characteristic of the tomato, whether it's taste, natural pest resistance or nutritional content, we've captured virtually all those genes," leader of the U.S. sequencing team, Cornell scientist James Giovannoni.
This means that soon we could be growing (and more importantly eating/drinking) healthier, tastier and more disease-resistant tomatoes! Breeders can now sequence tomatoes varieties in ways that will lead better fruits.
Which is pretty good, since tomatoes make up a $2 billion market in the U.S.
This also sheds insight on some other fleshy fruits like strawberries, apples, melons and bananas, which share many characteristics with the tomato.