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Strawberry not sweet? Blame its genetics

| | April 18, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

If you’ve ever bitten into a strawberry and wondered why it doesn’t taste as sweet or as good as others in the punnet, you could blame the fruit’s genetics.

Two studies, published today in BMC Genomics, found that the distinct flavor of strawberry has been linked to a specific gene present in some varieties of the fruit – but not in others. The gene controls a key flavor volatile compound in strawberries called gamma-decalactone, which is described as “fruity,” “sweet” or “peachy” and contributes to fruit aroma.

Strawberries are a valuable crop worldwide, yet modern farmers have often bred fruit for its size and yield, but not for taste.

Using genomics-based strategies to identify genes controlling flavor, scientists will be able to design molecular markers to follow these genes in breeding populations. Senior lecturer in agriculture Daniel Tan, from the University of Sydney, said, “The development of molecular markers are significant as these markers can be used to improve the understanding of the genetics of flavor in strawberry.”

This allows researchers to pinpoint strawberry varieties with a high likelihood of sweeter flavors.

Read the full, original articleGenetics link found in search for sweet strawberries

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