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Coffee Genome

September 8, 2014

Scientists decode the complete genome of a popular species of coffee plant.



Unraveling the java genome. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

An international team of scientists have published the complete genome of the Coffea canephora plant, source of the second most popular variety of coffee bean. In the journal Science, University of Buffalo biologist Victor Albert and his colleagues write that the genome will help researchers developing new varieties of coffee.

Victor Albert (University of Buffalo):

Flavors and aromas have to be ultimately encoded by the genome. And anytime there’s interest in molecular breeding approaches having a genome is basically a prerequesite.

He and his colleagues are now turning their attention to the more difficult genome of the hybrid species Coffea arabica—the biggest producer of coffee beans—and thirteen other species that together will give agricultural scientists a sweeping picture of the coffee family. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.