More Florida Mangoes, Please! Scientists Are Working on It (Growing Produce)

More Florida Mangoes, Please! Scientists Are Working on It

Did you know that Florida is the No. 1 producer of mangoes in the U.S.? And even though production has been increasing modestly over the past decade, consumer demand continues to grow at a greater rate for the popular fruit. A team of scientists at the University of Florida are working hard to grow a domestic industry, and might have found a way to gain ground.

The team recently sequenced the genome of the internationally important ‘Tommy Atkins’ mango – a variety that originated from Florida and that is valued for its very long shelf life, pest resilience, and other key beneficial traits.

“We now have the complete genetic instructions of the ‘Tommy Atkins’ which is a primary export mango,” says Alan Chambers, Tropical Plant Geneticist at UF/IFAS’ Tropical Research and Education Center. “We can now use this as a tool to answer questions like, ‘Why does Tommy Atkins have such a great peel color?’ ‘Why is Tommy Atkins so disease resistant?’ ‘What makes Tommy Atkins so great for shipping?’”

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