DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ripening fruits of the yellow cherry tomato, Solanum lycopersicum ( formerly Lycoperdon esculentum), variety Sun Baby. The picture shows ripe fruits, the colour of which is due to carotenoid pigments derived from phytoene, a long chain molecule containing 40 carbon atoms. In red tomatoes, the colour is due to lycopene, a derivative of phytoene. The fruit below centre has split its skin. This is due to uneven watering of the greenhouse-grown plant, and is a common fault in cherry tomatoes grown by amateur gardeners. A thin skin is a desirable feature, but carries the risk that if plants dry out due to neglect or unexpectedly hot conditions, subsequent watering may lead to splitting. The fruit in this picture had split a week previously, and shows developing colonies of Penicillium, a widespread mould.
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