Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

Categories: Food and Drinks | Science

Modern science strives to make people's lives better and more comfortable. One great example of caring for humanity is pomato. This is a hybrid agricultural plant that combines tomatoes and potatoes. It sounds like something fantastic, but in fact there is nothing supernatural in this invention of biologists. We can say that scientists simply improved what nature gave us. Unfortunately, we cannot yet use all the advantages of this culture.

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

Pomato, or as it is also called tomato, is a plant with tomato fruits and potato tubers. It was created to increase the efficiency of agricultural production. Simply put, to feed as many people as possible using a minimum of space and effort.

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

The American breeder Luther Burbank is considered the creator of pomato. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, he developed a hybrid potato variety with large yellow tubers. In addition to root vegetables, the plant also had white fruits, the size, shape and taste of a tomato.

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

The scientist named his brainchild “Pomato”, combining two plant names: potato (potato) and tomato (tomato). At the same time, Burbank considered the name extremely unfortunate. He admitted that he was never able to completely cross the two plants. The hybrid turned out to be unstable - its yield was low and unpredictable. That is why pomato was not popular for a long time and was grown only by enthusiasts.

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

But the idea of the American breeder appealed to many scientists and just amateurs. Experiments with pomato began to be carried out all over the world and many were more successful. In 1936, Soviet pensioner Brusentsov presented his version of the plant. “Vegetative hybrid Brusentsov” was about a meter in height and had good yield. The plant won several exhibitions, but things did not go further than that. The war began, and then the hybrid was successfully forgotten.

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

Oblivion lasted until 2013, when the British company Thompson & Morgan began selling ready-made pomato seedlings under the “TomTato” brand. The description of the crop says that from one bush you can harvest up to 500 cherry tomatoes and about 2 kg of white potato tubers.

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

It is worth saying that despite the fact that pomato is called a hybrid, it is not one. An unusual plant is obtained by hand grafting a tomato onto a potato. This is “vegetative hybridization”, which is quite difficult in the mass production of seedlings. This is probably why pomato has not yet received mass distribution.

Why pomato, or tomato-potato, cannot conquer the world

But science continues to work to improve culture. Currently, experiments are being carried out to breed “pomidofel” using the cloning method. Scientists believe that this approach will make it possible to obtain pomato seeds that anyone can plant in their garden. The plants still belong to the same genus and the chance of success is quite high.

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