Flunder-Tomato - Flunder-Tomate

The flounder tomato is part of a modern myth, i.e. a modern saga (fish allergy through eating tomatoes), with a real background.

Scientific background

In 1991 experiments were published with the aim of protecting tomatoes against frost damage during cultivation and storage. For this purpose, a gene from the arctic flounder was added to the genetic makeup of tomato plants ( transgenic organism ). This gene should lead to the production of an anti-freeze protein (AFP) in the tomato, which prevents the formation of ice crystals in the flounder.

As a result, fears arose among organized vegetarians that some of the genetically modified tomatoes might be animals. This assumption is particularly dubious because a synthetic gene that was created on the basis of the flounder gene was added to the tomato genome .

It is particularly interesting that the flounder tomato, like many subsequent experiments, did not protect the modified plants from frost and therefore never came on the market. The fears that led to the modern myth are (so far) unfounded. The first promising results were achieved in 2002 with carrots .


  • Robin Hightower, Cathy Baden, Eva Penzes, Peter Lund, Pamela Dunsmuir: Expression of antifreeze proteins in transgenic plants. In: Plant Molecular Biology. Band 17 , No. 5, November 1991, S. 1013–1021 , doi : 10.1007 / BF00037141 .
  • Arthur L. DeVries, Donald E. Wohlschlag: Freezing Resistance in Some Antarctic Fishes. In: Science. Band 163 , No. 3871 , March 7, 1969, p. 1073–1075, doi:10.1126/science.163.3871.1073.
  • K.D. Kenward, J. Brandle, J. McPherson, P.L. Davies: Type II fish antifreeze protein accumulation in transgenic tobacco does not confer frost resistance. In: Transgenic research. Band 8 , No. 2, 1999, S. 105–117 , doi : 10.1023 / A: 1008886629825 .
  • Y. Fan, B. Liu, H. Wang, S. Wang, J. Wang: Cloning of an antifreeze protein gene from carrot and its influence on cold tolerance in transgenic tobacco plants. In: Plant Cell Reports. Band 21 , No. 4, 1. November 2002, S. 296–301 , doi : 10.1007 / s00299-002-0495-3 .