Washington State University researchers have sequenced the genomes of the comice pear, the golden delicious apple, the stella sweet cherry and an almond.
Information gained from the sequencing could shed light on fruit ripening, the biochemical regulation pathways for disease resistance and ways of protecting the food supply from environmental conditions, according to a university news release.
Genomes contain DNA, which determines a plant’s appearance, health, productivity, color, taste and other attributes.
The study, led by Amit Dhingra, a horticultural genomicist at Washington State, could be used to help growers better address problems related to pests, drought and other environmental factors.
“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,” Dhingra said in the release. “Sustainability also means being able to grow food with minimal environmental impacts.”