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The Boston Globe reports that “scientists are using the powerful tools of modern biology to decipher the genomic recipes that give rise to the fragrant flesh of a strawberry or the complex bitter flavor of dark chocolate ... The studies are not just academic: As researchers learn how genes are linked to different traits, they hope to breed crops or livestock that are hardier, tastier, or healthier.”

According to the story, “Genomes are being deciphered by large, international consortiums of scientists funded by private and public sources that can range from the National Science Foundation to big-brand chocolate manufacturers such as Hershey Corp. or Mars Inc.”

“We can breed potentially for types of plants with higher levels of a certain kind of flavor — fruity notes, raisiny notes, nutty notes . . . it will help us to understand the genetic basis of flavor,’’ Mark Guiltinan, a professor of plant molecular biology at Pennsylvania State University, tells the Globe. “Especially the gourmet, high-end chocolate manufacturers are interested.’’
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