The fruit of a disaster millions of years ago

Those ripe red juicy tomatoes that put dollars in growers’ pockets are the result of a meteorite that crashed into Earth between 60 and 70 million years ago.

According to researchers who have mapped the tomato genome and published their findings in Nature on May 30, the fruit of the surviving tomato plant suddenly tripled in size after a very stressful event, likely a solar eclipse following the meteor strike. The fruit turned red and toxins that protect other members of the nightshade family were lost.

Better Farming - October 2012