The cranberry is a relatively wild fruit, not much changed by human selection. The result is a diverse crop with lots of variation.
Though the cranberry genome has not yet been sequenced in full, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched several projects to more thoroughly investigate the fruit's genetic characteristics. A better understanding of the genetic diversity of cranberries may allow growers to breed plants that are more resistant to pests and better able to survive the cold.
Cranberries also contain a number of compounds that benefit human health — including some that have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumor cells — and sequencing work may reveal more about them.