Gene to Bean to Global Scene

“Most of the commercial coffee that you see, from Starbucks or from Gimme or Green Mountain coffee, that’s all arabica,” says Colleen Anunu, director of coffee for Ithaca-based Gimme! Coffee and a graduate student in international development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The problem with it is it tastes better, and that’s what the market wants; yet at the same time, the genetic diversity is so limited, it creates horrible net losses when diseases come and wipe out an entire region.”  

Anunu is working  with the Boyce Thompson Institute to map the arabica coffee genome. The goal is to improve taste and make arabica beans less susceptible to disease.

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