This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

    Scientists have made a genetic map of the tomato. Tomatoes are second only to potatoes as the world's most valuable vegetable crop. Eight years of work went into making the map, or genome. Three hundred scientists around the world took part in the project to sequence the tomato's DNA code. Giovanni Giuliano, a researcher in Italy, is part of the Tomato Genome Consortium.
    科学家已经绘制出番茄的遗传图谱。作为全球最宝贵的蔬菜作物,番茄仅次于马铃薯。8年的工作进入了绘制基因图谱的阶段。来自世界各地的300名科学家参与了这一番茄DNA密码测序的项目。意大利研究人员乔瓦尼·朱利亚诺(Giovanni Giuliano)是番茄基因联盟的成员之一。

    GIOVANNI GIULIANO: "We started as ten countries and we now are fourteen."

    Mr. Giuliano says having the tomato's genetic map will help growers who are always trying to produce a better tomato.

    GIOVANNI GIULIANO: "And of course, this will be facilitated now by the fact that we now know not only what genes are there, but their order."

    Researchers published the genome of a tomato used by Heinz, the American food company famous for its tomato ketchup. The thick sauce is used on hamburgers, hot dogs and other foods.

    Heinz's research manager, Rich Ozminkowski, says the company knows what it wants in a tomato.
    亨氏公司研究主管Rich Ozminkowski表示,该公司知道自己想要从番茄中得到什么。

    RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "Traits like sugars and, for Heinz, viscosity, or the juice thickness, and the redness of the tomatoes are all very critical traits for us, for our products. Those are all controlled by a lot of different genes within a tomato naturally."
    RICH OZMINKOWSKI:“对亨氏公司而言,番茄像糖分、粘度或浓度,以及红色色度一类的特性对我们公司的产品来说非常关键。这些特性生来都是由番茄许多不同的基因所控制的。”

    Mr. Ozminkowski says genome sequencing takes away much of the guesswork for breeders of tomatoes or other crops that have been mapped.

    RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "By having the genome information, we can pick out those tomato plants that have more of those genes."
    RICH OZMINKOWSKI:“有了基因组信息,我们能够挑选出拥有更多这种基因的番茄植株。”

    Until the late nineteen sixties, the tomatoes that Heinz used to make ketchup often cracked open on the vine after a heavy rain.

    RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "Heinz had set about trying to put together a variety of tomatoes that would resist that cracking."
    RICH OZMINKOWSKI:“亨氏公司当时着手将各种抗开裂的番茄结合起来。”

    Breeders used the traditional methods of mating generations of different varieties. The tomatoes they were trying to develop not only had to resist cracking. They also had to resist disease. And they had to be easy to harvest mechanically.

    Finally the company came up with the tomato it wanted, called the Heinz 1706. Mr. Ozminkowski says the job would have been much easier if there had been a genetic map to follow.

    RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "The tools available back when 1706 was developed, it was all very, very conventional breeding. There were no genetic tools. You could not look at sequences. You could not do comparisons. And that is what makes the genomic project and the technologies that have spun off of that so interesting."
    RICH OZMINKOWSKI:“当年亨氏1706开发成功之时,可以使用的都是非常常规的育种手段。当时没有基因工具。你无法查看基因序列,无法进行对比。而正是这些使得基因工程以及从中分离出来的科技如此有趣。”

    But the work is not just about making better ketchup. Climate change may force many crops to adjust to new conditions. And Mr. Ozminkowski says researchers are already using the new genetic tools to help fight new plant diseases.

    RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "And so this is going to give us even more, because there are new diseases that are becoming problems within California and around the world."
    RICH OZMINKOWSKI:“因此这将对我们更有利。因为已经有新的病害正在成为加州和世界各地的问题。

    Researchers published the tomato genome in the journal Nature.