New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2020) – A Rutgers University–New Brunswick tomato breeding team known for developing the ‘Rutgers 250’ tomato has created ‘Scarlet Sunrise,’ a unique and flavorful bicolor grape tomato.

The team at Rutgers’ New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station used traditional (non-GMO) plant breeding methods to develop Scarlet Sunrise. They selected grape and cherry tomatoes that tested well in Rutgers performance and taste tests, and cross-bred them.

The cultivar has firm, crack-resistant red/yellow fruit and – representative of New Jersey’s legacy of tasty tomatoes – an intense sweet flavor balanced by moderate acidity. The plants are high yielding, with mid-late season fruit maturity.

“Gardeners will love ‘Scarlet Sunrise’ not only for the unique fruit color, excellent firmness and exceptional flavor, but also for the prolonged harvest window and fruit crack resistance, even under high moisture conditions,” said Thomas Orton, a professor and extension specialist in vegetables at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center and in the Department of Plant Biology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

“We work hard to create new varieties that will benefit local farmers and gardeners and we think we succeeded with ‘Scarlet Sunrise’ tomato,” said Peter J. Nitzsche, agriculture and natural resources county agent at Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Morris County and director of the Clifford E. & Melda C. Snyder Research and Extension Farm (the Rutgers Center for Sustainable Agriculture).

Full story with a photo:

For interviews with Orton or Nitzsche, contact Todd Bates at [email protected]


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Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.