(Feb. 3, 6:19 p.m.) Researchers at the University of California-Riverside have developed a new variety of asparagus that provides a higher yield than previous varieties, without compromising spear quality.

The new variety, called “DePaoli” after the first manager of the California Asparagus Commission, William DePaoli, is the third variety of asparagus that university researchers have developed, according to a news release.

“Particularly now, the asparagus industry in this country needs new varieties of the vegetable — varieties that can compete with those produced in other countries where labor cost is low, such as Peru and Mexico,” said Mikeal Roose, professor of genetics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and the leader of the asparagus breeding project, in the release.

The project consisted of crossbreeding of male and female plants that were graded on characteristics including spear size, quality, yield and disease tolerance. When a large number of quality hybrids were produced, the plants were then cloned using tissue culture methods, according to the release.