Scientists crack genetic code for apple
London: Scientists have cracked the genetic code for Golden Delicious, a variety of apple, that paves the way to crunchier, juicier, healthier fruits.
The breakthrough is already being used to breed red-hued apples with more anti-oxidants, known for a host of health benefits.
Researcher Roger Hellens of New Zealand firm Plant & Food Research said: "We will be able to identify the genes which control the characteristics that our sensory scientists have identified as most desired by consumers - crispiness, juiciness and flavour."
More than 60 million tonnes of apples are grown worldwide each year, the equivalent of nine kilos per person, reports the Daily Mail.
Although apple farmers try to breed only the best plants, they are able to know the outcome only eight years later, thanks to the slow growth of apple tree.
Now breeders will be able to screen seedlings for key genes, vastly speeding up the process. Traits that hamper production can also be more easily bred out, reports the journal Nature Genetics.
A sweeter version is under development and could be on sale by 2015. Other plans include boosting the amounts of an appetite-suppressing compound already present in apples.
The decoding of the apple`s DNA by a team of almost 100 scientists from five different countries has also shed new light on its roots.
The finding indicates a plant that evolved into the apple tree was born around 65 million years ago, when a comet is believed to have exterminated the dinosaurs.
The extra genes sent the apple along a different evolutionary path from peaches, raspberries, strawberries and other related fruits.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- China condemns Pakistan over Uri terror attack
- Indian- Americans launch online petition to declare Pakistan 'sponsor of terrorism'
- DNA: Analysis over who is responsible for tense condition of Kashmir after Burhan Wani's death?
- Congress workers thrash students for showing black flags to Rahul Gandhi in Raebareli
- Should Pakistani artists be restricted from working in India?
- Onam Bumper Lottery/Kerala Thiruvonam Bumper-2016 BR-51 draw result declared - Here is the winning ticket number
- Uri attack: Israel ready to help India with cutting-edge technology to secure borders
- India's Rafale vs Pakistan's F-16: Why the French fighter jet is the best choice for dogfight
- MNS ultimatum to Pakistani actors: Leave India in 48-hour deadline
- All you need to know about Reliance JioFi at Rs 1,999 – use free data till December 31