WSU researchers sequence pear, apple, cherry genomes

Want to dig a little deeper into your favorite fruits’ genetics?

Well, if you’re a fan of certain pears, apples, cherries and almonds (I know, I know, not a fruit), you’re in luck. Researchers at Washington State University have sequenced the genomes of four members of the  Rosaceae family –  the double haploid Comice pears, the double haploid Golden Delicious apple, Stella sweet cherries and the almond.

Researchers hope the information will help protect the food supply by devising new ways of protecting these crops from pests, disease, drought and other stressors. It also provides additional information on the “biochemical pathways of disease resistance,” according to a statement from WSU.

Additionally, the sequenced genomes can help shed light on fruit ripening.

“These crops have economic value, so understanding the genetics of these fruits dovetails perfectly with everything else WSU is doing to ensure the competitiveness of the industry,” Amit Dhingra, a horticultural genomicist who led the study said in a statement. “Sustainability also means being able to grow food with minimal environmental impacts.”

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