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'TomTato' tomato and potato plant unveiled

united kingdom horticultural grafting fruiting genus alpha-solanine

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#1 Hum

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 00:37

A plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes, called the TomTato, has been developed for the UK market.

Ipswich-based horticultural firm Thompson and Morgan said the plants were not genetically modified.

Similar plants have been created in the UK, but the firm said it was thought to be the first time they had been produced on a commercial scale.

Guy Barter, of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), said it was looking at the plant with "real interest".

Mr Barter said many of these plants - created by a technique known as grafting - had been created before but taste had previously been a problem.

"We're looking at it with real interest because Thompson and Morgan are a really reputable firm with a lot to lose, but I wouldn't rule out that it could be a very valuable plant to them," said Mr Barter, who is a contributor to BBC Gardener's World.

"In the past we've never had any faith in the plants - they've not been very good - but grafting has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.

    Grafting is the process of combining two different plants to create a single one.

    It requires lots of skill and practice, but has been successfully achieved by providing a clean cut on the two plants and taping the ends together until they heal.

    The purpose is to combine one plant's qualities of flowering or fruiting with the roots of another that offers vigour and resilience.

    Most plants need to be grafted within their own genus - such as potatoes and tomatoes - but it is sometimes possible to graft those of a differing makeup.

"Many people don't have that much space in their gardens and I imagine this sort of product would appeal to them."

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#2 DocM

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:26

Both are members of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae) which made it a tad easier. Of course some parts of many Solanaceae contain strong alkaloid poisons, so only parts are edible; potato, tomato, tobacco etc.

Then there are the peppers whose fruits contain capsaicinoids, which make chili's hot and some of us absolutely absolutely love.

Hmmmm....wonder if they could get capsaicinoids into the tomatoes & potatoes? Yummmm....

#3 My8th

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 13:49

You can get the TomTato plants for £14.99 each.



#4 Barney T.

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 13:55

You wouldn't need ketchup for your french fries! :p



#5 68k

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 13:57

^ :laugh:

 

From my understanding only plants of a similar type can be grafted. ie. plum 1 and plum 2; Kalamata olives and some other olive. Tomatoes and potatoes are completely different in nature.

 

I say it's fake: I bet a tomato and potato seedling were put in the same hole resulting in their roots to naturally 'weave' together. :)



#6 XerXis

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 14:09

^ :laugh:

 

From my understanding only plants of a similar type can be grafted. ie. plum 1 and plum 2; Kalamata olives and some other olive. Tomatoes and potatoes are completely different in nature.

 

I say it's fake: I bet a tomato and potato seedling were put in the same hole resulting in their roots to naturally 'weave' together. :)

Tomatoes and potatoes are not completely different, they are both nightshade plants.

 

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Solanaceae



#7 blerk

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 14:14

Both are members of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae) which made it a tad easier. Of course some parts of many Solanaceae contain strong alkaloid poisons, so only parts are edible; potato, tomato, tobacco etc.

Then there are the peppers whose fruits contain capsaicinoids, which make chili's hot and some of us absolutely absolutely love.

Hmmmm....wonder if they could get capsaicinoids into the tomatoes & potatoes? Yummmm....

 

Spicy potatoes and chili tomatoes I think sound quite delicious  :woot:



#8 Sadelwo

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 14:33

You wouldn't need ketchup for your french fries! :p

 

Somehow I believe this was the thought that birthed this project, being able to  aid limited garden spaces was an added benefit.



#9 BillyJack

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 15:20

Potato plants already produce a fruit that looks like a tomato but is poisonous. They do not always produce this fruit. I am not sure how poisonous that fruit is compared to a green tomato, but I hope this plant does not make that poisonous fruit and the gardener makes a mistake thinking it is a green tomato.

Here is a picture and info

http://www.ipm.iasta...8-9/potato.html

#10 +Boo Berry

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 15:27

What's next, tomato + potato + tobacco? It's topobacco!

 

I'm reminded of the Simpson's episode with the tomacco here. If I remember right, somebody actually made a tomacco plant.



#11 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 15:34

I'd be interested to know how the yields hold up and the effect it has on soil quality, as it's rather pointless if it doesn't match non-grafted plants.



#12 Ambroos

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 15:40

It's a much older technique I guess, but we used to have a prune tree with three different varieties of prunes grafted onto it, and they were all ripe in a different period. Prunes all summer long!



#13 c.grz

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 15:50

So does that means we're that much closer to the real treat Tomacco?!?!



#14 xrobwx

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 16:02

I cannot wait for the "correct pronunciation police" to take this on! You can be guaranteed I don't pronounce it correctly, I'm from the southern US.  :woot:  :rofl:


So does that means we're that much closer to the real treat Tomacco?!?!

Hell yeah!



#15 OP Hum

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 16:21

seems silly to me.