Tech UPTechnologyCacao genome sequencing will help produce more and better...

Cacao genome sequencing will help produce more and better chocolate

genoma-cacaoA multidisciplinary team of American researchers has justsequence the genome of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), from which the chocolate is obtained. “As a result of the talent and dedication in this unique partnership, researchers and plant breeders will be able to accelerate the genetic improvement of cocoa cultivation,” explained Edward B. Knipling, Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). “This advance will not only ensurechocolate qualityBut it will also benefit millions of small farmers who will be able to continue making a living from cocoa production.

Currently, world demand for cocoa exceeds production, and the main problems producers face are drought and fungal infections that attack plants. An estimated 70 percent of cocoa is produced in West Africa.

Scientists around the world have been searching for years to produce cocoa trees that are resistant to pests and water scarcity, and with higher yields. Now, knowing the “book of life” of this plant are closer to the answer. The cocoa genomic sequence will be made public in theCacao Genome Database(, before the information is published in a scientific journal, so that the data can be used immediately ingenetic improvement programs.

The project to sequence the cocoa genome has been sponsored byMars, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of chocolate-related products.


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