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Aug 3, 2014 02:38 PM

Tomato agronomists, please respond

As a foodie in my sixth decade, having had a food technologist father and gourmet cook mother, and loving and eating luscious summer tomatoes all my life, I have never seen this before.

I cut into one yesterday only to find little white and green things thinking I had a wormy one. Putting on my glasses, I could see that all the seeds had seemingly sprouted into cotyledons. Getting tweezers, I pulled out some that were over 2 inches long - all curled around inside this otherwise unremarkable tomato - bearing twin leaves. Unprecedented for me. Furthermore, there were no surface indications of rot, incision or damage of any kind.

Did I get some kind of freak or is this some cross-breeding, hyper-germination whatever phenomenon worthy of a journal article? What genetic/chemical/temperature condition would have caused this? I await your sagacious input.

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    1. re: Shrinkrap

      Sorry was so useless. The edit had more, but was lost.

      Take home message; not to worry.

      1. re: Shrinkrap

        Thanks for trying. As for nightshade formations, I've often encountered them inside bell peppers but the tomato thing was totally new.

    2. Others have posted about finding tomatoes like this - probably on the GT board. I know I read it recently on CH and the explanation boiled down to the fact that this is well-known, and benign.

      1. I'd contact my local ag extension office to get infomation. This site also has information:

        And here is a previous discussion on CH:

        1. The jelly around the seeds inside a tomato usually have a substance that prevents seeds from sprouting until it has been fermented away. If that substance isn't in abundance and/or the tomato is already very ripe those seeds "think" it's time to sprout and make a new plant. There are some heirloom tomatoes that must be harvested before they are at peak ripeness if seeds are to be saved before they sprout inside.

          1. Thanks gang. I have a major report to get out tomorrow and can't mess around now but I did get some close-up pix of the tomato and its internal growing partners. It is, however, a day old and not as sprightly as yesterday. Will post them if you want. Very new to me. I also put it in a freezer bag for anyone who wants to analyze the genomes.

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