Genome re-sequencing reveals the history of apple and supports a two-stage model for fruit enlargement

Cultivated apples (Malus domestica) trace their roots to Kazakhstan 4000 – 10,000 years ago, and since then have been propagated, transported, hybridized to other Malus species, and domesticated. Duan et al. sequenced more than 100 diverse accessions to trace apple’s history and identify loci subjected to selection. “During the domestication process, cultivated apples retained the large fruit size from M. sieversii, gained the firm texture and appetizing flavor from the hybridization with M. sylvestris and continued to be bred into larger and firmer fruit with better flavor and aroma.”  Genes involved in size, sweetness and acidity, flavor and texture were identified which will be useful for ongoing breeding projects. Nature Comms.  10.1038/s41467-017-00336-7