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Blending coffee at genetic level

12 May 2011

It is one of the enduring paradoxes of nature! Coffee Arabica, the plant that gives “quality cup” of the beverage is vulnerable to pests while the beans of Coffee Robusta that is resistant to diseases and harsher weather conditions, does not produce the same aroma and flavour.

Of the more than 100 species of the coffee genus, only these two are widely grown globally to produce the key commercial crop. However, Coffee Arabica is the more expensive of the two.

Why not cross the two breeds and bring the gourmet’s quality of Coffee Robusta and the sturdiness of Coffee Arabica?

‘A difficult plant’

It might sound simple. But it is not so. It could take 30-40 years to get an improved variety through conventional breeding as coffee is a difficult plant, according to senior plant scientist and Deputy Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Ramesh K. Aggarwal, whose lab is a major partner in the National Network Project on Coffee Genomics, which is part of a global coffee genomic network……..

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/article2012860.ece

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Written by csirindia

May 14, 2011 at 9:53 am

Posted in CCMB

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