Peach genome completed

April 2, 2010 at 1:10 PM
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CLEMSON, S.C., April 2 (UPI) -- The DNA genome of a peach could identify growth traits for its cousins -- apples, roses, strawberries, pears and cherries, scientists in South Carolina said.

The DNA genome of the Lovell peach tree recently was completed by researchers at Clemson University in a federally funded project that designated the peach as a plant species of interest worldwide.

Clemson and Washington State University maintain the genome database for Rosaceae, an economically important plant family that also includes raspberries.

If researchers find a peach gene that influences sugar content, that information could be used to make strawberries, cherries and other members of the Rosaceae family sweeter, the university said in a release Thursday.

Ten cuttings of the DNA-sequenced Lovell tree are to be sent to North Carolina State University in Raleigh to be planted around the campus.

The tree was grown at Clemson's Musser Fruit Research Farm, which grows more than 350 kinds of peaches, including varieties from Italy, China and France.

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