Decoding The Secret Behind Succulent Treats

By Meera Dolasia on January 7, 2011

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Ever wondered why some strawberries are super sweet, while others not so much or why some chocolates taste creamier than others?  It's all to do with the same thing that makes each human being different - the genes. Now, scientists believe they have unlocked the code that will take them one step closer to even more delicious versions of not only these two treats, but others as well.

The two separate studies conducted by a team from 38 organizations from all over the world, was led by scientists from France's CIRAD, an organization that tackles agricultural issues. Their mission is to not only create tastier produce, but also, one that is healthier and more resilient to disease.

For the chocolate study, the scientists selected Criollo - A cacao tree that was first cultivated by humans during the Mayan era, about 3,000 years ago. Amongst the 28,798 genes identified, were two that help protect the plant against disease. Also identified, were the genes that influence the amount of natural antioxidants, aroma, color and flavor.

In the case of strawberries, the scientists picked the wild Woodland Strawberry, which they uncovered has an astonishing 35,000 genes or about one and half times the number found in humans. Similar to the cacao tree, they were able to segregate the ones responsible for diseases, aroma, color and flavor.

The scientists are now hoping to use this information to cultivate plants that can resist diseases, which in turn will lead to better yields and more sustainable farming, especially in the case of the highly susceptible cacao tree.

Also, since the strawberry is part of the Rosaceae family of plants, which includes apples, peaches, pears, raspberries and roses, they are hoping to use similar techniques to boost the production of other fruits as well.

Genes are chemicals that determine the traits or characteristics that all living things inherit from their parents. In the case of humans they determine things like how a person looks, how tall he/she is, whether he/she has curly or straight hair etc. etc. Each of the between 20,000-25,000 genes, housed inside the nucleus of every human cell, carry their own blueprint or pre-determined function. It is the malfunction of these protein molecules that leads to all kinds of diseases in living creatures, which is the reason scientists study them so closely.

Sources: topnews.us, cbc.ca,kidshealth.org

Vocabulary

aromablueprintmalfunctionnucleusresilientsegregatesusceptible
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559 Comments
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  • violagirl
    violagirlFriday, April 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm
    chocolate and strawberries are like my fave fruit ever!
    • LeroyFriday, April 24, 2015 at 6:14 am
      Crystalmori- The reason DOGO News has no offensive comments is because (unlike most sites) they have moderators who delete offensive comments and post the good ones...
      • crystalmori
        crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 7:21 pm
        Hooray for the awesome moderators then! And thank you for the explanation. :)
        • nikukyu
          nikukyuFriday, April 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm
          OhMyGod Crystal you HAVE to read this!!
          • crystalmori
            crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 7:20 pm
            Thank you, nikukyu.
        • hemmguin
          hemmguinThursday, April 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm
          What would happen to the world if we didn't have chocolate?
          • lake
            lakeThursday, April 23, 2015 at 9:29 am
            Those are at golden Coral 🍫🍓
            • kimberly56
              kimberly56Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm
              i love golden coral
            • littlemissy
              littlemissyThursday, April 23, 2015 at 4:59 am
              Chocolate covered strawberrys omg I love that
              • blossom
                blossomSaturday, April 18, 2015 at 7:37 pm
                YUMMY CHOCOLATE
                • kimberly56
                  kimberly56Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm
                  yes LOL
                • kimberly56
                  kimberly56Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 9:15 am
                  YES CHOCOLATE
                  • nikukyu
                    nikukyuTuesday, April 14, 2015 at 12:04 am
                    DOGOnews, DOGOnews, it's the place where kids can learn. DOGOnews, DOGOnews, it's just the right site for youuuuu *singing on the tune of Let it go. You know, the 'let It Goooo' part😝*
                    • animefan3
                      animefan3Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 8:07 am
                      Yup it is
                      • basi344
                        basi344Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm
                        I love it!
                        • nataliatabile
                          nataliatabileTuesday, April 14, 2015 at 11:38 am
                          This is really clever!!!!!!!
                          • aphpiri
                            aphpiriTuesday, April 14, 2015 at 9:48 am
                            We all care what kids have to sayyy~! Let the fun live onnnnn! We're all commenting and we're here to stay.:D
                            • nikukyu
                              nikukyuWednesday, April 15, 2015 at 3:10 pm
                              It's funny how our lives changed, logged into this site, cuz we help each other through our troubles, that can't get to us no moreeeee! *the part after aphpiri's part*
                              • nikukyu
                                nikukyuWednesday, April 15, 2015 at 4:24 am
                                Wow....I'm speechless!
                                • aphpiri
                                  aphpiriFriday, April 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm
                                  It's time to see what we can do! Change the world, Internet, too!
                                  • nataliatabile
                                    nataliatabileFriday, April 17, 2015 at 5:54 pm
                                    Oh, don't worry it's going to go viral if we do!!!!!
                                    • peanut630
                                      peanut630Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 5:01 am
                                      Oh yeeeaahhhh!
                                      • kimberly56
                                        kimberly56Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm
                                        LOL YEEEESSSSS
                                        • bigmelo
                                          bigmeloThursday, April 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm
                                          Let's make a lyric chain! This is great so far! :D
                                  • wildpeep
                                    wildpeepThursday, April 16, 2015 at 7:18 pm
                                    LOL
                                    • kimberly56
                                      kimberly56Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 9:14 am
                                      LOL
                                  • crystalmori
                                    crystalmoriTuesday, April 14, 2015 at 8:45 pm
                                    That was awesome, both of you!
                                  • nick483
                                    nick483Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 3:17 am
                                    nikukyu I see all your friends are doing these stuff what are they? sounds awesome
                                    • nick483
                                      nick483Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 9:16 pm
                                      Dogo news is actully awesome than what I expected to be honest
                                      • crystalmori
                                        crystalmoriWednesday, April 15, 2015 at 7:25 pm
                                        It's way more awesome than I expected, too. I mean, I've liked Dognews since before it had iDOGO, and I didn't get iDOGO for a long time after it was added. I was kind of prejudice against any kind of, well, thing like that. Because, you know, you go on Facebook or youtube and there're usually a lot of mean comments. But Dogo's different, and somehow, I just didn't expect that. Now I know. Having an iDOGO account is way better than I had ever imagined it to be.
                                        • crystalmori
                                          crystalmoriWednesday, April 15, 2015 at 7:27 pm
                                          lol, I sound like a TV ad person (kinda). But seriously, I wouldn't have known there were such nice people on here any other way. I'm so glad I found out and that I get to be part of such an awesome online community! :D
                                        • nikukyu
                                          nikukyuWednesday, April 15, 2015 at 4:26 am
                                          I know right! I can't imagine my life before DOGO!
                                          • jhs190russel603
                                            jhs190russel603Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm
                                            hmmm...im not so sure about me
                                            • bigmelo
                                              bigmeloFriday, April 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm
                                              I know, right? I literally can't believe I've been alive before discovering Dogo News! :D
                                              • jhs190russel603
                                                jhs190russel603Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 1:37 pm
                                                im japanese are you? like this if you are
                                                • nataliatabile
                                                  nataliatabileFriday, April 24, 2015 at 4:25 pm
                                                  I'm Filipino!!!!!! But live in america!!!!!!!
                                                  • nikukyu
                                                    nikukyuSaturday, April 25, 2015 at 8:47 pm
                                                    Wow! We are so global!
                                                    • crystalmori
                                                      crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm
                                                      You are? I totally didn't know that. Cool! :D
                                                      • crystalmori
                                                        crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm
                                                        I have pretty much all of the British Isles in my blood, but, yeah, I live in the U.S.A.
                                                    • crystalmori
                                                      crystalmoriFriday, April 17, 2015 at 7:50 pm
                                                      Hmm. I might be part Japanese, but I live in America
                                                      • nikukyu
                                                        nikukyuFriday, April 17, 2015 at 8:06 am
                                                        YOU ARE?!?! *deep breath* Do you live in Japan too? I do.
                                                        • animefan3
                                                          animefan3Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 8:06 am
                                                          Nikukyu take a deep breath😝
                                                          • nikukyu
                                                            nikukyuFriday, April 24, 2015 at 5:31 pm
                                                            Can I steady my hand on your shoulder? *deep breath* thanks, animefan!
                                                          • peanut630
                                                            peanut630Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 4:58 am
                                                            Hey, nikukyu, if you follow me I'll follow you!
                                                            • nikukyu
                                                              nikukyuFriday, April 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm
                                                              Oh no, I'm so sorry that I haven't responded earlier! I've been taking a little break from DOGOnews like crystal mori had. And to answer your question: of course, I would be honored!
                                                              • peanut630
                                                                peanut630Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 5:00 am
                                                                Hey, that rymes! It should be a line in our song!
                                                              • crystalmori
                                                                crystalmoriTuesday, April 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm
                                                                Nikukyu, would you mind helping me out with some Japanese grammar? If you are asking someone if they have returned home safely, and stating the name of the place, then do you use 'de' after the place name or 'ni'? And which one do you put after 'buji'?
                                                                • nikukyu
                                                                  nikukyuWednesday, April 22, 2015 at 3:55 am
                                                                  well, you could say it as 'buji ni ____kara kaettekiteyokatta' I'm glad that you returned safely from ___. You should use 'kara' instead of 'de' or 'ni'. I really hope I helped!
                                                                  • crystalmori
                                                                    crystalmoriWednesday, April 22, 2015 at 10:32 pm
                                                                    But if you are asking them if they have returned safely, what then? "Buji ni America kara kaettekitara yokatta" ? But kite and kita are variations of kuru, which is more like 'to come', isn't it?
                                                                    • nikukyu
                                                                      nikukyuFriday, April 24, 2015 at 5:37 pm
                                                                      You don't have to say 'kaettekitara's 'kithara.' You can just say, 'business in America kara kaettekite yokatta.' Sorry if this was hard to read. The comment space was so small that I can't read what I'm typing!
                                                                      • crystalmori
                                                                        crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 7:28 pm
                                                                        I understand! And can totally relate.... This is happening to me a lot commenting on this article. One letter at a time....
                                                                      • crystalmori
                                                                        crystalmoriWednesday, April 22, 2015 at 10:33 pm
                                                                        I think I owe you an explanation....I met this really cool Japanese girl at church, and I have her email, but there are some things I don't know how to say... I want to ask if she got back to Japan safely from here.
                                                                        • nikukyu
                                                                          nikukyuFriday, April 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm
                                                                          Aww that's so sweet!
                                                                  • gso44
                                                                    gso44Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 10:52 am
                                                                    cool! how's japan like?
                                                                    • nikukyu
                                                                      nikukyuWednesday, April 22, 2015 at 3:56 am
                                                                      Mmm...Wow I don't know what to say. Just, you know, normal(though my 'normal' wouldn't be as same as yours!'
                                                                      • wildpeep
                                                                        wildpeepThursday, April 23, 2015 at 6:27 am
                                                                        do you know popin cookin nikukyu
                                                                        • nikukyu
                                                                          nikukyuSaturday, April 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm
                                                                          uh.... What is that?
                                                                    • wildchild999
                                                                      wildchild999Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 7:01 am
                                                                      hey nikukyu! this really is amazing! i mean I'm not japanese at all. but now we can interact all over the world!
                                                                      • peanut630
                                                                        peanut630Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 5:05 am
                                                                        I'm spanish. This is so cool though, you guys should totally read the article about the giant ice cream scoop at the strawberry festival
                                                                        • animefan3
                                                                          animefan3Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 8:05 am
                                                                          Me too but I live in u.s
                                                                          • wildpeep
                                                                            wildpeepThursday, April 23, 2015 at 6:36 am
                                                                            so do I
                                                                        • nikukyu
                                                                          nikukyuWednesday, April 22, 2015 at 3:55 am
                                                                          I know, awesome!
                                                                  • aphpiri
                                                                    aphpiriThursday, April 16, 2015 at 11:22 am
                                                                    I couldn't imagine having friends in Japan before DOGO!
                                                                    • crystalmori
                                                                      crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 8:55 pm
                                                                      Hey, aphiri, are you really sure your account got deleted? 'aphphilippines' is still on my followers list, and when I click it to check on the profile, it's there, and it's up to date with all the things people you were following have been doing.
                                                                      • hemmguin
                                                                        hemmguinThursday, April 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm
                                                                        I found it one day and it's been my connection to new information every day. I absolutely love knowing new things so I agree with you, I can't imagine my life without this website.
                                                                        • crystalmori
                                                                          crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 7:34 pm
                                                                          In my case, when I was being homeschooled, my mom wanted me to have a news site as my home page. But I didn't like hearing the mainstream news, all about bloody stuff and murder and wars, so we had to find something that wasn't like that before I would agree. Luckily, DOGOnews was here, and I've been using this site ever since. I owe this site for a lot of stuff, including introducing me to Vocaloid, without which I would probably never have become an otaku, and that would be sad. :( The saddest thing is, I wouldn't even know what I was missing out on. ;.; Thank you, DOGO!
                                                                          • crystalmori
                                                                            crystalmoriFriday, April 24, 2015 at 7:34 pm
                                                                            Excuse me while I cry....
                                                                        • blossom
                                                                          blossomThursday, April 16, 2015 at 10:08 pm
                                                                          Dogo news is so good I thought it was boring when I found out till my cousin told me it is awesome
                                                                • RaeMonday, April 13, 2015 at 10:26 am
                                                                  Yum
                                                                  • RaeMonday, April 13, 2015 at 10:26 am
                                                                    Cool

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