Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweet success for scientists

The cacao bean is the key ingredient of chocolate, but blight frequently wipes out entire crops, costing farmers more than seven hundred million annually. But by mapping the genes of the cacao tree, scientists hope to identify key traits in its DNA, which will allow breeding or engineering high-yielding plants with greater disease resistance. With the chocolate business already generating fifty billion a year, such an achievement would come with large profits for farmers and chocolate makers.

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