Crunching genetics

Roger Hellens from New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research has identified the genetic code for Golden Delicious apples meaning growers will be able to produce crunchier, juicier and healthier fruits. Hellens said: “We will be able to identify the genes which control the characteristics that our sensory scientists have identified as most desired by consumers — crispiness, juiciness and flavour.” The breakthrough is already being used to breed red-hued apples with more anti-oxidants, known for a host of health benefits. Although apple farmers try to breed only the best plants, they are able to know the outcome only eight years later, thanks to the slow growth of apple tree. Now breeders will be able to screen seedlings for key genes, vastly speeding up the process.

Tags: genes  Hindustan Times  Plant & Food Research