Cocoa bean (chocolate) genome being sequenced

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Cocoa bean (chocolate) genome being sequenced

The entire cocoa genome (DNA) is being sequenced and analyzed as part of a project to help create stronger, healthier cocoa crops. Cocoa, of course s the key ingredient in chocolate. Through the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), IBM and the world's largest chocolate company Mars, scientists hope to increase the crop's yield, as well as pest and disease resistance and increased water and nutrient use efficiency. While cocoa is not grown in the U.S., IBM reports for every dollar of cocoa imported, between one and two dollars of domestic agricultural products (like corn and wheat) are used in the making of chocolate products. This is the first time all three entities, USDA-ARS, IBM and Mars, have collaborated on a crop-related project.

A stronger, healthier genetically modified cocoa bean that results in more chocolate supply and therefore cheaper chocolate is all well & good, but if you mess with the flavor, you will die. No seriously. I will hunt you down and I will kill you. Ok, I jest... a little. Me a chocoholic? You betcha!

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