Seems the gene has been isolated for "that homegrown tomato" taste. So now we can have no-nutrient, cardboard textured, real taste tomatoes.
Sorry I don't have the cite on this--Yahoo News.
I think it was rather that the genes for bright red color independent of fully ripened sugars was identified. The trait has been bred into some lines for many years.
One year 5 of us competed growing tomatoes with many of our co workers as the judges. All of us grew the same cultivar, Early Girl, the way we always grew tomatoes. The ones I grew, organically, were judged to have the best flavor while anothers, grown in soil amended with animal manures came close, at least according to the judges.
There are a number of factors that influence flavor, besides a gene. If that gene does not have the support of good nutrition it may no be able to express itself.
I think each garden has a flavor of its own. It doesn't matter which variety of tomato, they all will pick up the flavor they are grown in.I grow 2 or 3 different tomatoes each year and you can tell they all came from the same garden. (bragging rights) You can't beat an Indiana tomato.
Originally, tomatoes were not solid red (or gold, orange, whatever) but had green shoulders (stem end) even when fully ripe. It is my understanding that green shouldering is what contributed to that old fashioned, homegrown ripe tomato taste and that has been bred out of most modern hybrids in favor of a uniform "good" appearance. Like those absolutely tasteless "vine-ripened" tomatoes one buys in clusters at the supermarket for an exhorbitant price :-)
To my taste buds, any homegrown tomato is more flavorful and sweet than any commercial, store-bought produce :-) The fact it is grown outdoors and not picked until properly ripe allows the sun to concentrate the sugars and develop flavors that will never happen in a greenhouse and also less likely in any large scale commercial outdoor growing.
And I know everyone has opinions and dearly held beliefs but there is no evidence to support the claim that organically grown produce is any more flavorful than that grown with commercial fertilizers. More healthy, perhaps: more flavorful, absolutely no scientific evidence to support. It makes no difference to the plants as to the source of the nutrients - it's what happens when the photosynthetic process utiizes those nutrients (from whatever source) to create the sugars and proteins the plant needs to thrive and what produces the taste.
Conversely, gardengal, there is no evidence that growing food organically does not make food more flavorful.
According to my brix meter, organic produce at stores nearly always tests higher than conventional. Usually the difference is not enormous, but it is significant.
pnbrown: that is so cool that you can test. I'd like to know the outcome of two tomatoes of the same seed fruit, grown side by side in the same outdoor environment, one with conventional soil, one with best organic practice soil. Have you ever?