A professor at Purdue University has received a grant to research the avocado and characteristics to maintain and prolong its longevity. Biological sciences professor Michael Gribskoc, received the Fullbright Scholar Award, which will allow him to conduct research on the avocado. He plans to focus on analyzing the transcriptome of the DNA, that could allow for the ability to “manipulate the firmness of the fruit and the rate at which they ripen,” according to a release by Purdue University. Currently, 80% of avocados consumed in the U.S. are imported from Mexico, with the rest being grown primarily in California. The study will be conducted at the Universidad Nacional de Columbia in Bogotá, allowing Gribskov to focus on a wide variety of avocados, and not the Hass variety typically seen in American stores. These other varieties range in size, shape and appearance, causing skepticism among most American consumers who prefer consistency in their food, but these varieties are giving the study an added factor to examine. “Because the varieties in Colombia are so diverse, they probably have a lot of different oils,” Gribskov said. “That affects their taste, but it also affects what kind of different commercial products they could be used in.” Gribskov will be leaving for Columbia in early 2020 to begin this research.

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