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Scientists are Saving the Avocado. Here’s How:
Avocados are a staple on brunch menus around the world, but rising temperatures and the spread of disease are clouding the future of millennials’ favorite fruit.
A recent scientific advancement though could help keep them safe. A team of scientists in the U.S. and Mexico have successfully mapped the genome of several avocado varieties, including the Hass avocado. This feat opens the doors to potential gene editing efforts to increase the fruit’s tolerance to climate change and ability to resist disease.
“There are avocados that grow in very hot places with little water, and there are avocados that grow more in rainy places,” said Dr. Luis Herrera-Estrella, project lead and plant genomics professor at Texas Tech University. “If we can identify genes that confer heat tolerance and drought tolerance, then we can engineer the avocados for the future.”