Coffee's genes unlocked, now it's time to tweak it!

  • Food News
  • Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014

Coffee’s genes get mapped out by scientists looking for ways to improve the perfect cup of joe.

If you prefer your genetic research to be rich, bold, flavourful, steaming hot and with a bit of a kick, try a mug full of this: Scientists have deciphered the coffee genome and found genetic secrets that may make your cup of joe even better in the future.

An international team of researchers unveiled the newly sequenced genome of the coffee plant in the journal Science on Sept 5. They pinpointed genetic attributes that could help in the development of new coffee varieties better able to endure drought, disease and pests, with the added benefit of enhancing flavour and caffeine levels.

The researchers studied the species Coffea canephora, better known as Robusta. It accounts for about 30% of the world’s coffee production and is common in instant coffee. It is second in importance to Arabica, generally known for a less strong, smoother taste. Separate work is under way on Arabica’s genome.

Coffee – now genetically mapped out by scientists at the University of Buffalo, in the US – may soon be modified to suit your tastebuds. – Reuters

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