Our research group focuses on using genetic data to detect and dissect the effects of domestication and breeding on various crops, especially grapes and apples. By sequencing and analysing our food’s DNA, we are unraveling the story of our intimate relationship with the organisms that sustain us. The insights we gain not only give us a better understanding of our past, but they also inform us on how to better manage our food supply in the future.
May 3, 2012
Click here for more photos of blond Melanesians.
When visiting Melanesia, one cannot help but be amazed by the striking blond hair of some of its inhabitants, since these Pacific islands are populated by some of the darkest skinned people in the world. So where does the blond hair come from? Is it caused by exposure to the sun or a diet rich in fish? Or was it brought to Melanesia by early European explorers? Continue Reading →
February 29, 2012
Honeycrisp is arguably the most popular new apple cultivar around. Its exceptionally crisp and juicy texture set it apart from its competitors. According to breeders’ records, Honeycrisp resulted from a cross between Macoun and Honeygold made in the 1960s at the University of Minnesota. For years, people tasted the Honeycrisp apple and attributed its promising characteristics to genes inherited from its two putative parents. However, DNA evidence published in 2005 has shown that neither Macoun nor Honeygold are parents of the Honeycrisp apple. It has been revealed that Keepsake, another apple developed at the University of Minnesota, is likely one of the parents and the other parent remains unknown. Continue Reading →
December 14, 2011
This apple was found in an orchard right here in Nova Scotia. And if you ask fruit growers anywhere, they’ll tell you that they see these kinds of colour patterns pop up from time to time.
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