A while back we reported on the smallest recorded genome and now it’s time we took a look at some more awesome news about genetics. A study published yesterday revealed that the coffee genome was sequenced which only means that we can learn how coffee gets to be so addictive and yummy.
Coffee Genome was Sequenced
A team of international scientists has managed to sequence coffee’s genome and the results of the study were published in the journal Science, today September 4. Now that the coffee genome was sequenced, we may begin to understand coffee’s secrets.
Robusta coffee makes up for 30% of the supply of coffee in the world and its genome was sequenced by Victor Albert (the Department of Biological Sciences at the University at Buffalo in NY) and his colleagues.
The results of the sequencing have revealed that the genes in the coffee plant that produce caffeine are different from those that produce it in other plants, such as cacao and tea. It appears that coffee and chocolate have a common ancestor, but that they’ve been separated a very long time ago.
The lead author of the study wrote in the journal:
Comparative analyses of caffeine NMTs demonstrate that these genes expanded through sequential tandem duplications independently of genes from cacao and tea, suggesting that caffeine in eudicots is of polyphyletic origin.
So what exactly makes coffee taste so good? Albert explains:
Our study highlighted genes that make alkaloid compounds, which are known bitter flavors,” Albert said. “We found another group of enriched enzymes that make flavonoid compounds, which are another taste element. We also highlighted the genes involved in fatty acid pathways, so we’ve identified many different genetic aspects of aroma and flavor.
Share your thoughts with us on this story in the comment section below.