Chilean strawberry genome is sequenced
Talca University researchers worked on the project, which started in 2010, in collaboration with New Hampshire University.
Project leader Raúl Herrera, said the discovery will help define key characterstics of Fragaria chiloensis.
"Our focus is on quality characteristics and post-harvest improvements to maintain fruit firmness, improve color and organoleptic characteristics such as sweetness, flavor and aroma, which we believe will open new markets for this fruit," he was quoted as saying.
Researcher Alejandra Moya, said it was possible to buy strawberries in December but their shelf life was short.
"You have to consume them almost immediately because they soften quickly. Results in our laboratory have identified those enzymes that contribute to softening the fruit wall," he said.
Moya said identifying the responsible enzymes would help prolong the post-harvest life of the fruit.
Herrera added that having the full genome map would enable them to simplify strategies to characterize genes and regulate them.
The project was the result of a Bicentennial Program of Science and Technology, started in 2007, and Sweden's International Foundation for Science (IFS), which both helped finance the research.