The coffea arabica genome has been sequenced, and it tells us more than you’d think

Professor Michele Morgante

Takeaway 1:

Coffea arabica is an allotetraploid, while its parent species (coffea eugenioidies and Coffea canephora) are diploids. This is important for understanding the origin and traits of arabica.

Credit: National Academy of Sciences

Takeaway 2:

All arabica plants that have ever existed originated from a single “mother tree” which came into existence between 10,000–50,000 years ago.

rock art painting from 8000 BC in Algeria

Takeaway 3:

Compared to many other agricultural crops, arabica has an extremely small amount of genetic diversity.

Coffee plantaions in Haarez, Yemen. Coffea Arabica’s genetic genetic diversity was extended by selective breeding in Yemen, where coffee was first widely cultivated. Selective breeding can be thought of as a type of accelerated evolution at the hands of humans.

Takeaway 4:

F1 hybrids are crosses between genetically deviant cultivars within a species.

Credit: World Coffee Research (WCR)

Takeaway 5:

Oranges are a cross between pomelos and mandarins!

How different common citrus have been bred

Takeaway 6:

If you’ve read this far, you should go ahead and listen to the podcast!




ECRE. Co-roasting, coffee academy, store, and events. 👉🏻 Sydney, Australia.

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ECRE. Co-roasting, coffee academy, store, and events. 👉🏻 Sydney, Australia.

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