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Pakistan researchers discovering genetic secrets of mangoes

At the Mohammad Ali Jinnah University in Islamabad, a research team has been sequencing some of the genes involved in the aroma, taste and colour of the Langra (Pakistan), Zill (China), Shelly (Israel) and Kent (Mexico) mangoes. The aim of the comparative study of different mango varieties was to find the common biomolecules.

Interestingly, the team also found some very important medicinal properties in all varieties of mango. Genomics and molecular data of mangoes was studied by scientists with the help of sophisticated computers and bioinformatic tools, which revealed valuable insights on the secrets of the mango.

“Dozens of mango varieties are commercially grown. However, the complete genome information of the mango is not available. Nonetheless, transcriptomics data, (a complete set of RNA transcripts) is available for some mango varieties,” said Dr Waqasuddin Khan, speaking to The Express Tribune.

“Using sophisticated bioinformatics tools, we found some specific biomolecules that are responsible for flavour and colour in mango fruits” added Dr Khan.

Mangoes however also have unique compounds against many bacterial and viral activities. Pakistani experts also found two important compounds named Lupeol and β-amyrin in the Langra mango. Lupeol has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and chemopreventive properties. The compound β-amyrin has anti-inflammatory and hypolipideimic (fat lowering) effects.

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