Scientists have sequenced the avocado genome, shedding light on the ancient origins of this buttery fruit and laying the groundwork for future improvements to farming.
With regard to modern affairs, the study reveals for the first time that the popular Hass avocado inherited about 61 percent of its DNA from Mexican varieties and about 39 percent from Guatemalan ones. (Avocados come in many types, but Hass — first planted in the 1920s — comprises the bulk of avocados grown around the world.)
The research also provides vital reference material for learning about the function of individual avocado genes, and for using genetic engineering to boost productivity of avocado trees, improve disease resistance and create fruit with new tastes and textures.
The project was led by the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO) in Mexico, Texas Tech University, and the University at Buffalo. The research was published on Aug. 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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