Interesting article about apple origin and crisis

Very Interesting article. Any comment or thoughts?

“There are currently 7,500 varieties of apples in the world today – incredibly though, basically every single one of these can be traced back to a Mother and Father tree in a mysterious Kazakhstan forest.”

"The Apple Crisis - Except, it’s also kind of really bad. For some time now, there’s been somewhat of a worldwide apple crisis. Because the gene pool is so shallow (on account of most apples descending from two trees), all of that interbreeding has meant our apples are disease-prone and vulnerable to blights and pests. "


I don’t follow his logic and wish there was some attribution. On what basis does he claim that all modern varieties are offshoots of 2 trees from Kazakhstan?

Ok I will go first. Define shallow gene pool. I dont see the gene pool being any more shallow than any other single species. There are plenty of apple varieties both old and new that show very good disease resistance. Sweet apples are more common than tart apples, I dont have the hard numbers for the thousands of apples (tart vs sweet) in front of me but I can think of equal numbers of both if you venture outside the aisles of a grocery store. Sounds like to me the guy has further motives than just talking apples and didnt do much research past the grocery store.

I believe people in this forum are growing apple material from the Kazakhstan area. It will be interesting to see their insights on the claims made in the article.

Many folks make a living by writing Internet articles, but sometimes they lack superior knowledge about the subject of the article. Just take a look at many of the You Tube video on pruning fruit trees for some examples of people showing their lack of knowledge.

One part of the article is wrong for sure. The lack of Apple choices in the Supermarket is the result of marketing, not limited variety choices like the article states. Originally, the marketing was directed to the growers (think Red and Golden Delicious) and more recently to the re-seller or the consumer (think branded variety). Fortunately, many choices are now available compared with 5 or 10 years ago. I just picked up a bag of Pink Lady apples at the supermarket for less than $1 a pound. They had dozens of varieties from conventional as well as organic growers including at least one variety I had not tasted. I noticed Apples from NC, Washington State, NY and at least one more state.

I plan on grafting a wild Apple from kazackhastan that I got from Kate this winter. I suppose that it could be a seedling that traces back to a pair of apple trees but I would find that about as likely as two red oak trees growing wild here miles apart and having two common parents.

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even if the apple gene pool largely traces back to two founder trees, which is entirely possible, my understanding is there are quite a few with crab genes…so all or almost all apples may have genetics from those 2 founders in them, but that does not mean the entire genetic makeup of the entire pool of apples is confined to various mishmashes of Tree A and Tree B.

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I don’t follow the logic either murky, and what is it that they propose to do about it? We all know what they think they are getting at, but it’s clear to me that the author doesn’t know enough about or understand this subject enough to be writing about it. Either that or she didn’t expand enough to get the point across…or I’m just stupid.

The issue they think they are addressing is the one in which most modern apples have similar parentage (Red Del. and Golden Del.), but that has absolutely nothing to do with the “Adam and Eve” of trees in Kazakhstan. Further, their descendancy from just two original trees has zero to do with their genetic makeup unless they feel the bears have destroyed some genetics entirely due to selection over eons.

You know Derby…something I was just thinking about was that there really isn’t anything that says there HAD to be 2 parent trees in the beginning. Speedster posted the D’arcy Spice apple the other day that is partially self fertile. A good while ago someone on here posted about an apple that came true from seed, I read up on it a bit. While it isn’t true that always comes true, it is true that it often does because it is self fertile.I think there are only just a very small handful of apples that are self fertile.
Perhaps once upon a time self fertility was the norm in apples and as evolution progressed they became different enough to have the ability to cross pollinate which would be a survival trait in evolutionary adaptation.
In other words, maybe apples used to be like peaches…maybe a million years from now peaches will behave sexually like apples do now.

Genetics may be seen as two trees but I see it as endless possibilities with infinite combinations. Im going off memory from over 20 years ago so dont quote me or spellcheck me but DNA strands for example cytosine pairs with guanine and adenine with thyamine in a double helix. So those pairs make up what we call genetics. Mutations occur and nature is good at mutating to fit the needs of the environment. So even if there were two parents after 1000 recombinations the child and original parent have little in common. That’s why f1 hybrids are closer than f2 and so on because you see gene drift. Once in awhile you get a class jump like my viking aronias are nothing like wild aronia. They are a hybrid of unkwown parentage.