b'HAS TOMATO LOST ITS FLAVOUR?Schouten and his colleagues studied this for tomato, as particu-larly in this crop there have been indications of serious genetic erosion. Furthermore, some studies mentioned that modern commercial varieties contain significantly lower amounts of many () important flavour chemicals than older varieties (Klee and Tieman, 2018) as a result of intensive selection for production traits, such as yield and disease resistance, at the expense of flavour. Schouten et al studied the evolution of diversity in com-mercial tomato varieties in NW Europe since the 1950s. To do this, they studied both genetic variation at the DNA level, and phenotypic variation, including disease resistances, fruit size, and flavour components, such as soluble solids content (Brix), titratable acidity, firmness, and juiciness.Ninety tomato varieties introduced in the Netherlands for commercial glasshouse fresh fruit production from 1950 till 2016 were randomly selectedwithout any prior knowledge about any of the genetic or phenotypic parameters analysedto have about 12 varieties per decade. RESULTSThe Schouten study has shown that the genetic diversity was indeed very low during the 1960s but is now eight times higher compared to that dip. The pressure since the 1970s to apply less pesticides led to the introgression of many disease resistances from wild relatives, representing the first boost of genetic diver-sity. In Europe a second boost ensued, fuelled by breeding for fruit flavour, further increasing diversity since the 1990s. The increased diversity in composition of aroma volatiles observed starting from the 1990s reflect the efforts of breeders to improve fruit quality. Moreover, the fruit sizes have diversified a lot, as well as the fruit colours, and shapes as is evident from a visit to your local supermarket.PUTTING BIODIVERSITY IN A WIDER PERSPECTIVEFor agricultural field crops, several studies have been performed on the genetic diversity of varieties, including a meta-analysis based on data from 44 published papers (van de Wouw et al, 2010), addressing diversity trends in released crop varieties of eight different field crops in the 20th century. The study encom-passed variety diversity in many countries in the world, not only in Europe and North America. Wheat was the most represented crop, with 26 out of the 44 papers. For wheat, the lowest diver-sity occurred in the period from the 1960s until the 1980s. This decrease was 6% compared to the first half of the century and EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 39'