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Science Traces Roots Of 'Traditional English' Apple Back To Central Asia
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 2-25-2007 | Richard Gray

Posted on 02/24/2007 7:38:25 PM PST by blam

Science traces roots of 'traditional English' apple back to central Asia

By Richard Gray, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:30am GMT 25/02/2007

It is a taste of the English countryside, but the origins of the apple lie far from our shady orchards.

English apples can be traced back over 7,000 years

English apples are direct descendants of fruit trees growing in an inhospitable mountainous region of central Asia, plant scientists at Oxford University have discovered.

The DNA of England's famous apple varieties is almost identical to that of fruit found in the Tian Shan forest which lies on the border of Kyrgyzstan and China, Barrie Juniper, who led the research, found.

Scientists previously assumed that the apple was a hybrid of different types of fruit, including the crab apple which is commonly found in English hedgerows.

Instead Mr Juniper claims that many of the different types of apple found in Britain, including the Cox's Orange Pippin, the Discovery and the Beauty of Bath can be traced back directly more than 7,000 years to the trees of the Tian Shan.

He said: "We started off on the premise that the apple was a hybrid, but to our surprise when we began to look at everything we were collecting in Tian Shan there didn't seem to be any mixing at all.

"The extraordinary sweet apple seems to have come directly out of the Tian Shan and much of the diversity you find in English apples is already there.

"You can have a day's march through the Tian Shan and find a range of different trees. You can pluck out big, red apples that are very similar to those you would find in the supermarkets and others that have the bitter characteristics of our cider apples."

Mr Juniper, who has just completed a book about his research titled The Story of the Apple, spent 10 years attempting to trace the origins of the fruit by collecting and testing samples from around the globe.

His search eventually led him to the perilously volatile region around the Tian Shan, a mountain range that during the Cold War harboured Soviet missile test sites and is still dangerous for foreigners to visit.

He now believes that apple seeds were carried out of the forest to the West around 7,000 years ago by domesticated horses from the region that fed on the fruit.

Horses are thought to have first been tamed on the plains surrounding the Tian Shan before being used on trade routes towards Europe.

Experts have been able to track the apple's progress across the continent as the animals shed the seeds in their dung before the fruit eventually arrived in Britain in about 2000BC.

Mr Juniper claims that these original apples then flourished in the rich British soil and damp climate, where they became a valuable food source due to their high nutritional value and hardy nature.

Later plant breeders across Europe produced yet more varieties by careful cross-breeding to create the wide range of textures, flavours and colours now found across Britain.

The findings have shaken the concept of the apple as a typically English fruit.

Britain boasts more than 1,000 of its own varieties of apple and there are more than 4,000 that have been identified around the world.

Jonathan Fry, a pomologist at the Brogdale Trust, which is responsible for the national fruit collection and maintains a database of more than 2,300 apple types, said that English farmers have made the apple their own through careful breeding.

He added: "For a long time the apple was thought to be a hybrid between the crab apple and fruit from the Middle East, so finding it came directly from central Asia has surprised even some who work in the fruit industry.

"The English climate is perfect for apples and the ingenuity of the people led them to experiment with the fruit.

"There were a lot of varieties developed by breeders from those original species that arrived in Britain."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agriculture; apples; asia; britain; british; casia; centralasia; china; england; english; eu; europe; fruit; godsgravesglyphs; greatbritain; helixmakemineadouble; horses; kyrgyzstan; propagation; science; tianshan; uk; unitedkingdom; whataboutdentistry

1 posted on 02/24/2007 7:38:31 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

Urumchi is where the red-headed Caucasian mummies were found.

2 posted on 02/24/2007 7:40:51 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Apparently apples weren't made via selective breeding of crab apples during Roman times. They're still a pretty cruddy fruit, though (opinion).
3 posted on 02/24/2007 7:43:11 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: blam

The wild horse theory seems plausible. There's even the stereotypical feeding a [domesticated] horse an apple (and a sugar cube).


4 posted on 02/24/2007 7:44:42 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: blam
The Curse Of The Red-Headed Mummy
5 posted on 02/24/2007 7:45:03 PM PST by blam
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
The wild domesticated horse theory......

If there was a wild horse theory, that would make sense, too.

6 posted on 02/24/2007 7:48:44 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam.
He now believes that apple seeds were carried out of the forest to the West around 7,000 years ago by domesticated horses from the region that fed on the fruit.
What, were they constipated? Obviously if this did in fact take place, the movement of the apple was due to the movement of humans. Mr. Juniper was either misquoted or is a numbskull.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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7 posted on 02/24/2007 8:02:57 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam
"He now believes that apple seeds were carried out of the forest to the West around 7,000 years ago by domesticated horses"

Heh. Dainty phrasing, that. You'd think horses had opposable thumbs...

8 posted on 02/24/2007 8:14:37 PM PST by gcruse (Having half-white Obama play the race card is like Michael Jackson playing the gender card.)
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To: SunkenCiv

In the language of Kazakhstan, the city Almaty (formerly Alma-ata) means 'the father of apples', and the region in the south produces some of the best apples I've ever tried. One variety is called 'aport' and puts those sawdust lumps that they sell in US grocery stores to shame.


9 posted on 02/24/2007 8:25:27 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: blam
The DNA of England's famous apple varieties is almost identical to that of fruit found in the Tian Shan forest..

..and the reason the English fruit couldn't be the progenitor of the Chinese variety is?

10 posted on 02/24/2007 8:43:41 PM PST by Thommas (The snout of the camel is in the tent..)
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To: Thommas

Because it wouldn't be politically correct.


11 posted on 02/24/2007 8:48:13 PM PST by balch3
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To: struwwelpeter; SunkenCiv; blam
USDA - Going Back to the Source for a Heartier Apple Tree
12 posted on 02/24/2007 9:00:21 PM PST by uglybiker (AU-TO-MO-BEEEEEEEL?!!)
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To: blam

It's Chinnghis Quan's fault!


13 posted on 02/24/2007 9:01:15 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: blam

ping


14 posted on 02/24/2007 9:09:40 PM PST by BuffaloJack
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To: uglybiker
Interesting.

"Forsline went on seven of the collecting trips, including four to central Asia. The trips resulted in at least a doubling of the known genetic diversity of apple trees, according to Forsline. The scientists returned with 949 apple tree accessions from central Asia alone. Other excursions were to China, the Caucasus region including Russia and Turkey, and Germany."

"Fazio and Forsline are most impressed with the material collected in Kazakhstan, especially accessions of Malus sieversii, an important forerunner of the domestic apple. This is logical, given that Kazakhstan is a likely ancestral origin of familiar domestic apples (Malus x domestica) such as Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and McIntosh."

How did they get to North America?

15 posted on 02/24/2007 9:32:38 PM PST by blam
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To: uglybiker
Thank you!

From your link:
Fazio and Forsline are most impressed with the material collected in Kazakhstan, especially accessions of Malus sieversii, an important forerunner of the domestic apple. This is logical, given that Kazakhstan is a likely ancestral origin of familiar domestic apples (Malus x domestica) such as Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and McIntosh.

According to Forsline, the Kazak trees showed significant resistance to apple scab—-the most important fungal disease of apples—as well as to fire blight. They were highly resistant against Phytophthora cactorum, which causes collar rot, and Rhizoctonia solani, an agent of apple replant disease, according to Fazio. Both researchers found genes in the Kazak apples that allow them to adapt to mountainous, near-desert, and cold and dry regions.

16 posted on 02/24/2007 9:35:23 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: BuffaloJack

Ahh so the english (maybe the Celts) came from China, velly intresting. And even a possibility. They did find red haired people buried in that region. Time for a grant !


17 posted on 02/24/2007 9:36:21 PM PST by mosesdapoet
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
Apparently apples weren't made via selective breeding of crab apples during Roman times. They're still a pretty cruddy fruit, though (opinion).

Have you ever had a real apple? The "delicious" apples sold in supermarkets are the most misnamed fruit ever. They were bred for size, a uniform color and ability to survive a week in a boxcar without bruising -- everything but flavor.

The best apples I've ever had were from roadside stands in the Southern Appalachians. they're small, spotty, and bruise more easily, but boy howdy, do they taste good.

18 posted on 02/24/2007 9:50:17 PM PST by ReignOfError (`)
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To: blam

I assume they came from Europe as seed stock in colonial times or shortly thereafter.


19 posted on 02/24/2007 9:51:30 PM PST by uglybiker (AU-TO-MO-BEEEEEEEL?!!)
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To: uglybiker
Apples In North America Before Columbus
20 posted on 02/24/2007 9:51:48 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
Mr. Juniper was either misquoted or is a numbskull.

Not at all! that's where we get the phrase, "horse apples!"

In recent times, though most people mistakenly use the phrase for the byproduct of horses, those who knew better have made use of the natural technique artificially, making 'seed balls' for reforestation projects.

Another consideration is that apples roll down hill (just like this thread will, most likely) and also wash downstream efficiently.

In the last hundred years, the apples from the orchards on our property have travelled proliffically (birds undoubltedly helped, too) several miles, and to a lesser extent much further, along the streambeds on down to the Cheyenne River, and probably continued on along it. Heck, our trees may have offspring all the way to the Missouri by now. Give them another 6,900 years....

21 posted on 02/24/2007 9:53:31 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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To: uglybiker; Coyoteman
See my post #20.

Who brought the apples from Central Asia before Columbus came?

22 posted on 02/24/2007 9:56:55 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

"Experts have been able to track the apple's progress across the continent as the animals shed the seeds in their dung before the fruit eventually arrived in Britain in about 2000BC."

actually this gives 3000 years for the apple to slowly be moved via feces/growth/consumption/feces cycle, which might be enough?


23 posted on 02/24/2007 10:03:05 PM PST by WoofDog123
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To: Thommas

given that this is a DNA-related study, i would assume there are markers on some chromosomes which would establish which was the originating species/variety and any deviations. The article doesn't offer much on the DNA evidence itself, but this is one of the things that DNA studies are good for if your sample size is big enough. Notable that they authors of the study themselves had erroneous pre-conceptions going into this it appears/is alleged.


24 posted on 02/24/2007 10:08:26 PM PST by WoofDog123
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To: blam
Who brought the apples from Central Asia before Columbus came?

It's possible there were some wild varieties growing in the Americas at the time. Just as there are native varieties of grapes, cherries and other plants. My Google searches are turning up very little information on this, though.

That doesn't necessarily mean that somebody brought them over. Most likely IMHO they would just be remnants of earlier climactic conditions which favored the spread of those species.

25 posted on 02/24/2007 10:34:26 PM PST by uglybiker (AU-TO-MO-BEEEEEEEL?!!)
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To: blam

Those floating wooden things our ancestors came over on?


26 posted on 02/25/2007 2:00:33 AM PST by ASA Vet (The WOT should have been over on 11/05/1979.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

"The wild horse theory seems plausible."

I don't disagree with you; but for me, it seems more plausible these ancient folks had their own Johnny Appleseeds rather than a herd of Johnny Applehorses.


27 posted on 02/25/2007 5:19:47 AM PST by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: blam

Interesting


28 posted on 02/25/2007 5:45:10 AM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: ApplegateRanch; WoofDog123

Thanks.

But...

It's nearly a quarter of the world's circumference involved, not to mention the English Channel, which horses have never been known to swim.

Particularly when constipated. :')


29 posted on 02/25/2007 6:48:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Couple thousand years off makes a difference.

I was thinking the English channel formed ca 5,000 years ago; not ca 5000BC.

which horses have never been known to swim.

Particularly when constipated. :')

Nor while wearing armor.
30 posted on 02/25/2007 7:28:26 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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English Elm 'Brought By Romans'
BBC | 10-28-2004
Posted on 10/28/2004 10:23:27 AM EDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1259984/posts


31 posted on 02/25/2007 7:45:19 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Italy owes wine legacy to Celts, history buffs say
Reuters via Wash. Post | April 21, 2006 | Svetlana Kovalyova
Posted on 04/22/2006 10:56:23 PM EDT by Pharmboy
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1619778/posts


32 posted on 02/25/2007 8:04:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ApplegateRanch

...that Knight make a difference...


33 posted on 02/25/2007 8:07:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

Why do you think they call horse manure "Road Apples?"


34 posted on 02/25/2007 8:38:28 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Don't get excited. It is simply our turn in history to cut Islam back..)
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To: SunkenCiv

In days of old
when knoghts were bold,
and toilets not yet invented
they dropped their load
next to the road
and went away contented.


35 posted on 02/25/2007 9:12:30 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

:') Must have been a smelly world before the Sears catalog... ;')

http://www.bartleby.com/101/367.html


36 posted on 02/25/2007 9:18:06 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
! ;)
37 posted on 02/25/2007 9:40:37 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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To: blam
Why couldn't the Northeast Asian progenitors of the first inhabitants of North America have transported the seed when they crossed into this continent? If apple seeds could travel westward to the British Isles from central Asia, there is no reason they could not have traveled eastward as well.
38 posted on 02/25/2007 9:49:11 PM PST by Wallace T.
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To: Wallace T.

Thanks. I knew I'd get someone to come along and say that.


39 posted on 02/25/2007 9:52:19 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

you posted this one here in the Backroom? That’s not like you, blam. ;’)

Pomologists Bite Off More Than They Can Chew With 200-Year-Old Apple Mystery
The Telegraph (UK) | 1-30-2007 | Richard Savill
Posted on 01/29/2007 6:40:07 PM PST by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/backroom/1775873/posts


40 posted on 09/04/2009 8:13:15 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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41 posted on 09/04/2009 8:14:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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