Florida-Grown Vanilla Moves Closer to Becoming a Successful Florida Crop

December 2020

Researchers at UF/IFAS have a made a new discovery in their study of vanilla. A tool has been developed that unlocks the genetic traits that identify the vanilla variety that produces the fastest with the most consumer-friendly approved taste.

Scientists with UF/IFAS have worked in collaboration with North Carolina-based food and agriculture company, Elo Life Systems on the “chromosome scale” sequencing of Vanilla DNA. Alan Chambers is a tropical plant geneticist with UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center who said that, “The vanilla genome reported in this study will enable accelerated breeding of vanilla pods with improved bean quality, plants with superior disease resilience and higher yields to support a new, domestic market.”

This milestone discovery is a major step forward in the vanilla breeding process according to chambers.

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