We considered two possible alternative explanations for the results of studies one to four.
First, because boys are sometimes held back from
entering the formal schooling system (28), their
understanding of intellectual ability may be
delayed relative to girls’ (29), which may inflate
boys’ confidence about their brilliance (30). However, the boys and girls in our sample did not
enter school at different ages (e.g., the average
chronological age for first-grade boys and girls
was 6.87 and 6.72 years, respectively; t = 1.28, P =
0.20). Moreover, own-gender brilliance scores
did not differ for boys who had already entered
first grade versus those who had not (Mbefore =
0.70 versus Mafter = 0.67; t = 0.33, P = 0.74), but
these scores differed for girls (Mbefore = 0.71 versus
Mafter = 0.56; t = 2.16, P = 0.037). Second, because
women are subject to stronger modesty norms
than men (31), perhaps 6- and 7-year-old girls’
lower interest in the games for brilliant children
(studies three and four) was due to an increase in
concerns about modesty. Contrary to this alternative, children in the age range we tested are
notoriously boastful about their abilities (30).
Moreover, the difference in boys’ versus girls’
interest in the brilliance games was specifically
mediated by their perceptions about brilliance,
pinpointing these stereotyped perceptions (rather
than modesty) as the underlying mechanism.
Notably, our measure of the “brilliance = males”
stereotype is not susceptible to the modesty explanation: Modesty norms dictate that a woman
should not boast about her own smarts (32, 33),
whereas we asked children to judge whether other
people were smart.
It will be important to test whether these findings extend beyond a middle-class, majority-white
U.S. cultural context and to comprehensively
investigate the sources of the “brilliance = males”
stereotype in children’s environments. Nevertheless,
the present results suggest a sobering conclusion: Many children assimilate the idea that
brilliance is a male quality at a young age. This
stereotype begins to shape children’s interests
as soon as it is acquired and is thus likely to
narrow the range of careers they will one day
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We are grateful to the families who participated and to the
members of the Cognitive Development Lab at the University of
Illinois for research assistance and helpful discussion. We also
thank J. R. Cimpian for insightful feedback on previous drafts. This
research was supported by a Graduate College Dissertation
Completion Fellowship from the University of Illinois (L.B.) and NSF
grant BCS-1530669 (A.C. and S.-J.L.). The supplementary
materials contain additional data. The data for these studies are
also available on Open Science Framework: https://osf.io/yund6/
Materials and Methods
Figs. S1 and S2
Tables S1 to S5
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30 July 2016; accepted 9 December 2016
A chemical genetic roadmap to
improved tomato flavor
Denise Tieman,1,2 Guangtao Zhu,1,3 Marcio F. R. Resende Jr.,4 Tao Lin,1,3
Cuong Nguyen,2 Dawn Bies,2 Jose Luis Rambla,5 Kristty Stephanie Ortiz Beltran,5
Mark Taylor,2 Bo Zhang,2 Hiroki Ikeda,2 Zhongyuan Liu,2 Josef Fisher,6 Itay Zemach,6
Antonio Monforte,5 Dani Zamir,6 Antonio Granell,5 Matias Kirst,7
Sanwen Huang,1,3† Harry Klee1,2†
Modern commercial tomato varieties are substantially less flavorful than heirloom
varieties. To understand and ultimately correct this deficiency, we quantified flavor-associated chemicals in 398 modern, heirloom, and wild accessions. A subset of these
accessions was evaluated in consumer panels, identifying the chemicals that made the
most important contributions to flavor and consumer liking. We found that modern
commercial varieties contain significantly lower amounts of many of these important flavor
chemicals than older varieties. Whole-genome sequencing and a genome-wide association
study permitted identification of genetic loci that affect most of the target flavor
chemicals, including sugars, acids, and volatiles. Together, these results provide an
understanding of the flavor deficiencies in modern commercial varieties and the
information necessary for the recovery of good flavor through molecular breeding.
Thetomato is thehighest-value fruit and vege- table crop worldwide (1) and an important source of micronutrients in the human diet. Nonetheless, deterioration in flavor quality of the modern commercial tomato relative
to heirloom varieties is a major cause of consumer
complaint. To address this problem, we performed
a comprehensive study of the chemistry and genetics
of tomato flavor. The flavor of any food is the sum
of interactions between taste and olfaction. For the
tomato, sugars and acids activate taste receptors,
while a diverse set of volatile compounds activate
olfactory receptors (2–4). Volatiles, in particular,
(5). Refrigeration also selectively alters the volatile
content of fruit without altering sugars and acids,
resulting in reduced consumer liking (6). Flavor
phenotyping is expensive, subject to environmental
variation, not amenable to high-throughput assays,
and beyond the means of most breeding programs.
Therefore, most breeders focus on yield, disease
resistance, and firmness, which are essential for
shipping, long-term storage, and external appear-
ance rather than flavor quality. Flavor-associated