• Organism

Strawberry

The Strawberry has eight different versions of genetic material interacting in a single individual, making it an octoploid genome.

Overview.

Scientific name: Fragaria x ananassa

Although we eat several different varieties of strawberries today, all of them come from an accidental cross of a species from eastern North America noted for its fine flavour and a species from Chile noted for its large size.

The Strawberry has eight different versions of genetic material interacting in a single individual, making it an octoploid genome. By comparison, humans only have two versions of genetic material, a diploid genome. Historically this complexity has made it challenging for breeders to select and breed the traits they want; for example, size, sweetness or colour.

This complexity also means that the strawberry could have an enormous potential for new traits already encoded in its genome, which would enable it to adapt to a whole host of different challenges such as disease and climate change.

We are starting to develop the sequencing technologies and tools to study and understand this vast genetic diversity to apply this knowledge for breeding programmes across the world. This will allow us to unlock the potential of this extraordinary genome and ensure we can enjoy strawberries and cream for years to come.

What Earlham Institute is doing.

EI is starting to develop the sequencing technologies and tools to study and understand this vast genetic diversity to apply this knowledge for breeding programmes across the world.

This will allow us to unlock the potential of this extraordinary genome and ensure we can enjoy strawberries and cream for years to come.