A map of a particularly delicious variety of cacao plant's DNA could lead to more abundant, high-quality chocolate. While this news sounds scrumptious to chocolate lovers, the Cacao Genome Database noted it could be an even sweeter treat to the ears of the world's 6.5 million cacao farmers in South America, Africa and Asia.
VIDEO: Climate Change Threatens Coffee and Chocolate
In 2010, geneticists deciphered a preliminary version of the molecular code of a variety of cacao plant (Theobroma cacao), known as Matina. Farmers around the world commonly plant Matina, or similar varieties, because of its excellent flavor.
Now, scientists working for candy-maker Mars Incorporated, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, IBM and several universities have finished the entire sequence. A group of those geneticists identified a particular set of genes in Matina that code for its greenish pod color, which relates to the quality of the beans-to-be, and published their results in Genome Biology. Better beans means better chocolate.