Galapagos Tomato: Answer to Gardeners' Woes!

Here is another great example of why it's so important to conserve biodiversity. 

Researchers in the Netherlands, working at developing pest resistant strains of tomatoes, find that the Galapagos tomato is the most resistant of all.   The whitefly is a major problem for outdoor tomato farming throughout the world. Scientists of Wageningen University, together with a number of partners have discovered genes for resistance to the whitefly in a wild relative of the common tomato - the Galapagos tomato. The scientists hope that resistant varieties can be brought to market within two years, making chemical pest control unnecessary.

This is small wild tomato native to the Galapagos Islands and resistant to drought .  The tomatoes are smaller than cherry tomatos and ripen to a yellow-orange color.  They are edible, with a good, typical acid tomato flavor.

 When first in Galapagos, CNH Tours was surprised to spot wild tomatoes there  - how did it come to be here? Tomatoes were endemic to Central America and were brought all over the world in the 16th and 17th centuries.   It's most likely that a bird carried seeds, either in its gut, or stuck to feathers, all the way to the islands, a long long time ago.