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VOA慢速英语:Tomato's Genetic Secrets Are Peeled Away

Source: VOA    2012-06-06   English BBS   Favorite  
This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
这里是美国之音慢速英语农业报道。

Scientists have made a genetic map of the tomato. Tomatoes are second only to potatoes as the world's most valuable vegetable crop. Eight years of work went into making the map, or genome. Three hundred scientists around the world took part in the project to sequence the tomato's DNA code. Giovanni Giuliano, a researcher in Italy, is part of the Tomato Genome Consortium.
科学家已绘制出西红柿基因图谱,西红柿是全世界仅次于土豆的最有价值蔬菜作物。科学家经过8年研究终于绘制出西红柿的基因图谱,全世界300名科学家参加了将西红柿DNA密码排序的项目。意大利研究人员Giovanni Giuliano也参加了这个番茄基因组协会。

GIOVANNI GIULIANO: "We started as ten countries and we now are fourteen."
GIOVANNI GIULIANO:“一开始有10个国家参加,现在已有14个国家。”

Mr. Giuliano says having the tomato's genetic map will help growers who are always trying to produce a better tomato.
Giuliano先生说,有了西红柿基因图谱就可以帮助种植者生产更好的西红柿。

GIOVANNI GIULIANO: "And of course, this will be facilitated now by the fact that we now know not only what genes are there, but their order."
GIOVANNI GIULIANO:“当然,种植西红柿更加便利,不仅是因为我们知道是什么基因,还知道基因的序列。”

Researchers published the genome of a tomato used by Heinz, the American food company famous for its tomato ketchup. The thick sauce is used on hamburgers, hot dogs and other foods.
研究人员发表了美国食品公司海因茨使用的一种西红柿的基因,该公司因生产番茄酱而著名。这种厚厚的酱料用在汉堡、热狗等食物中。

Heinz's research manager, Rich Ozminkowski, says the company knows what it wants in a tomato.
海因茨研究管理者Rich Ozminkowski说,公司明白自己需要西红柿的哪些部分。

RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "Traits like sugars and, for Heinz, viscosity, or the juice thickness, and the redness of the tomatoes are all very critical traits for us, for our products. Those are all controlled by a lot of different genes within a tomato naturally."
Rich Ozminkowski:“对海因茨来说,诸如西红柿的糖分、粘度或汁厚度以及红色度都是很重要的品质,这些特质都天然地受西红柿多个不同基因控制。”

Mr. Ozminkowski says genome sequencing takes away much of the guesswork for breeders of tomatoes or other crops that have been mapped.
Ozminkowski先生说,基因序列让西红柿等有基因图谱的作物的繁育者无需再做无用功。

RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "By having the genome information, we can pick out those tomato plants that have more of those genes."
RICH OZMINKOWSKI: “有了基因信息,就可以挑出有更多这些想要的基因的西红柿植株。”

Until the late nineteen sixties, the tomatoes that Heinz used to make ketchup often cracked open on the vine after a heavy rain.
直到20世纪60年代晚期,海因茨使用的西红柿大雨后就会在藤上裂口。

RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "Heinz had set about trying to put together a variety of tomatoes that would resist that cracking."
RICH OZMINKOWSKI: “海因茨想把多种不会裂口的西红柿种在一起。”

Breeders used the traditional methods of mating generations of different varieties. The tomatoes they were trying to develop not only had to resist cracking. They also had to resist disease. And they had to be easy to harvest mechanically.
繁育者使用传统方法,将各个品种的西红柿后代进行配种,他们想开发出不仅抗裂口、而且抗病的西红柿,这种西红柿还必须方便机械化收割。

Finally the company came up with the tomato it wanted, called the Heinz 1706. Mr. Ozminkowski says the job would have been much easier if there had been a genetic map to follow.
海因茨公司最终培育出了想要的西红柿品种,将之命名为海因茨1706号。Ozminkowski说,如果当初就有基因图谱的话,培育工作会容易得多。

RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "The tools available back when 1706 was developed, it was all very, very conventional breeding. There were no genetic tools. You could not look at sequences. You could not do comparisons. And that is what makes the genomic project and the technologies that have spun off of that so interesting."
RICH OZMINKOWSKI:“1706号的培育是很传统的方式,不过当它被开发出来后就出现了新的工具。不过当时是没有基因工具的,看不到基因序列,也无法做对比。这就是基因项目和其附带技术有趣的原因。”

But the work is not just about making better ketchup. Climate change may force many crops to adjust to new conditions. And Mr. Ozminkowski says researchers are already using the new genetic tools to help fight new plant diseases.
RICH OZMINKOWSKI:“1706号的培育是很传统的方式,不过当它被开发出来后就出现了新的工具。不过当时是没有基因工具的,看不到基因序列,也无法做对比。这就是基因项目和其附带技术有趣的原因。”

RICH OZMINKOWSKI: "And so this is going to give us even more, because there are new diseases that are becoming problems within California and around the world."
RICH OZMINKOWSKI: “所以基因工具会让我们获益更多,因为加州和世界各地都出现了新疾病和新问题了。”

Researchers published the tomato genome in the journal Nature.
研究者将西红柿基因研究发表在《自然》杂志上。


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