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Your Tomato Seeds

This Resource is part of the Tomatosphere™ Program

Designed for: Grades K-8
For use by: Students, Teachers.
Learning Styles: Classroom based
Resource Type: Document

Your seeds come from traditional seed production methods; they have NOT been modified through the use of biotechnology.

The seeds are a hybrid variety from HeinzSeeds, part of the Kraft Heinz Company, the third largest food and beverage company in North America. The variety is called H9478 – a plum tomato (sometimes referred to as a “Roma” tomato. The variety was developed under the leadership of horticulturalist Dale Smith, a member of the original Science Committee on the Tomatosphere™ program team, and a supporter of the Tomatosphere™ Project.

At one point, H9748 seeds occupied nearly half of the company’s acreage; today, this variety is still grown by tomato growers but newer varieties with improved field and factory characteristics have supplanted some of the acreage previously grown. H9478 is a versatile variety, still used for tomato paste products, fresh juice and whole peel. The plants will produce mature fruit in a period of 95 to 105 days depending upon growing conditions. H9478 continues to be popular with Eastern North American companies and is also grown widely in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

Each class will receive two packages of seeds. One package of seeds is a “control” (untreated) group and the other is the “treatment” group, an contains seeds that have been to the International Space Station. The identity of the treatment seeds will be revealed at the end of the experiment, once the plants have germinated and results have been submitted.

Tomatosphere seeds on board the International Space Station