Busting Bellatti’s Bad Broccoli Breath

Most of you are familiar with Monsanto the seed giant. All of you are familiar with the cruciferous vegetable, broccoli. Some of you may know that Monsanto released a variety of broccoli last year purported to be better for you, called “Beneforté.” One year later, an article by a newly-registered dietitian named Andy Bellatti appeared on Grist to bust Monsanto’s ‘better’ broccoli, which some of you may have noticed. But none of you who finish reading this post will believe that Bellatti “busted” the Beneforté broccoli at all. The only thing he busted was his own research, journalistic, and dietetic integrity. Glusosino-What? There has been considerable interest in investigating the composition of foods to determine what parts of them can contribute to our health. (And what detracts from it too.)  Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have garnered considerable attention for their effects on the development of cancer. Research has revealed

Evolution of Fruit Shape in Tomato

Someday you’ll be able to use CAD software to draw up what you want a plant to look like and the software (containing detailed growth models) will tell you what genetic constructs you need to bring it into the world… But for now we barely understand how natural morphological variation is controlled. So I was excited to see this paper out of the van der Knaap and Francis labs. In it, they review some of the known levers by which tomato plants control fruit shape and investigate their historical appearance.