New Genetically Modified Fruit Called “Groundcherries”

Sophia Acuna

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In a few years, you might be able to find a new fruit in your grocery store, called a groundcherry. The groundcherry is a rare fruit found in Central and South America, described as tasting a bit like pineapple or vanilla. It often drops to the ground from its vine before it becomes ripe (hence the name “groundcherry”), making it difficult to grow. But thanks to genetic engineering, scientists have found a way to make the fruit much easier to farm.

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Scientists looked at the genes of tomatoes and made similar changes to the DNA of groundcherries using a gene-editing tool called CRISPR. Among the changes made to the groundcherry include producing more fruit and making the fruits themselves larger. Scientists also plan to improve the color and taste of the groundcherries.

Currently, you can occasionally find groundcherries for sale at local farmer’s markets across the United States. Scientists hope that in the near future, groundcherries might become as popular as even the strawberry.