Avocados are an incredibly popular, and valuable crop, particularly some varieties. The Hass avocado is the most popular hybrid, which was first bred in the 1920’s. Roughly 50% of all avocados are grown in Mexico, so this is a particularly important crop to that country, and the avocado’s continued success as a crop is vital to maintain this US$2.5B industry.
Researchers from the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO), Texas Tech University and Buffalo University sampled the genome of the Hass avocado, and three other varieties. They were able to determine that the Hass variety is comprised of 61% Mexican avocado genes, and 39% Guatemalan genes. The genome also revealed duplicated genes that have useful functions, including DNA transcription, and the production of chemicals that prevent fungal infection.
There is one problem with avocados though. They take a long time to grow, so better understanding of their genetics may allow future farmers to improve breeding programs for the versatile fruit. By incorporating genes from other varieties of avocados, growers may be able to improve disease resistance, flavor or texture in this beloved crop.
Source: Technology Networks
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