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Study Gives Details on Arabica Coffee`s Complex Genome
Wednesday, 2024/02/14 | 05:03:45

ISAAA February 7, 2024


Researchers in Italy have shed light on arabica coffee's large and complex genome, which could help in the development of desirable traits in coffee, such as disease resistance.


Arabica coffee represents 60 percent of the world's total coffee production and is generally known for its higher quality than the other dominant commercial coffee species, robusta. The study notes that genetic diversity in arabica coffee is lacking and this is especially troubling because arabica has greater susceptibility to disease and climate change. However, the study also notes that this lack of diversity may be because arabica is a relatively young species formed from a “super parent” combination of robusta and another, non-commercial species, Eugenioides, within the past 50,000 years.


The research team, led by Michele Morgante, Gabriele Di Gaspero, and colleagues, used the latest genome sequencing technologies to coffee samples, finding yet again a notable lack of genetic diversity in arabica. They found some changes at the chromosomal level that might explain why different characteristics are associated with different coffee cultivars, including flavor, disease susceptibility, or caffeine level. The study found evidence of significant chromosomal “rearrangements,” and even chromosome deletions. These were observed in the arabica line known as Bourbon. The researchers found additional genetic diversity in arabica in cultivars tracing back to the Timor hybrid.


For more details, read the article in Daily Coffee News.

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