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Discovery
What's Behind the Crazy Shapes of Fruits

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Diagram showing the key role the SUN gene plays in fruit shape.

This diagram shows the key role the SUN gene plays in fruit shape: round tomato varieties where the gene was overexpressed (top) bear extremely long fruit, while elongated varieties with the gene knocked out produce round fruit.

Credit: Esther van der Knaap, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University


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Photo showing slicing of tomatoes and analysis of their shapes by scanning.

The shapes of various tomato varieties are analyzed in Esther van der Knaap's laboratory by scanning them and measuring them through a unique software program van der Knaap herself developed.

Credit: Ken Chamberlain, CommTech, The Ohio State University


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Photo of scientists analyzing the shapes and genetic variations of tomatoes using software program.

Esther van der Knaap (left) and doctoral student Na Zhang analyze the shapes of elongated tomatoes and the genetic variations accounting for such elongations through a unique software program called the "Tomato Analyzer," which van der Knaap herself developed.

Credit: Ken Chamberlain, CommTech, The Ohio State University


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