Building a better cup of coffee through genetics

May 05, 2014 John Stumbos University of California, Davis
Geneticist Juan Medrano to examine genetics impacting coffee flavor and mouthfeel.
Building a better cup of coffee through genetics

Professor Juan Medrano, UC Davis Department of Animal Science, will study coffee genetics.

May 5, 2014
(from The Sacramento Bee)

Professor Juan Medrano, a scientist in the Department of Animal Science who is known for research on the genetics of milk and its effects on humans, hopes to identify gene regulators in coffee that are related to flavor and other qualities.

“I’ve started a research project to examine gene-expression differences between coffees grown at different altitudes,” he said in a recent article in The Sacramento Bee. “Coffee is a unique commodity that affects the lives of millions of people around the world… so it’s compelling to contribute to something with such human importance.”

Altitude is crucial in coffee growing since flavor and aromas change significantly with varying temperature and microclimates. This line of research could also yield important information about disease resistance. Near-epidemic levels of “coffee rust” disease affect coffee-growing regions of Central and South Americas.

(Read the full story by Edward Ortiz, April 6, 2014, The Sacramento Bee,)

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