Beyond just improving the tomato, the new genome sequences provide scientists with a new system for studying its closest relatives in the night-shade family. So many of our food crops are direct tomato relatives, including the potato, pepper, petunia, tobacco and even coffee. The Tomato Consortium obtained some data from the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium and compared the two plants, which are genetically only 8 percent different. And other fleshy fruits could benefit, too — melons, apples, strawberries and many more share characteristics with tomatoes. A tomato gene framework will allow for easier comparison of common and divergent plant gene sequences.