Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. For this purpose, he plans to use the world’s oldest known apple, a 4000-year-old variety of M. sieversii. Originating in the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan millions of years ago, the apple has been part of the human diet for tens of thousands of years. Once humans brought these tree lineages back into contact with each other again, bees and other pollinators did the rest of the work. So who did these large fruits evolve to attract? North American apple harvesting began with the settlers at Jamestown in 1607. The trick is to convert data into binary code based on A, G, C, and T – the four nucleotide bases that make up DNA – and use the result as a blueprint to synthesize a DNA sequence. It’s not actually America’s favorite fruit, but it’s grown across the country. One place where the ubiquitous apple does not appear is in the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis. Humans noticed the larger fruiting trees and fixed this trait in place through grafting and by planting cuttings of the most favored trees. Fall is quickly approaching, and the season delivers not only crisp, autumn air but our favorite crisp, autumn treat: apples. The 50-acre orchard at USDA’s Plant Genetics Resources Unit in Geneva, New York, has what may be the world’s largest collection of apple trees—some 2500 different varieties from all over the world. Cider became so popular that it was sometimes used to pay salaries, and Virginian statesman William Fitzhugh once remarked that the cider produced from his orchard of 2,500 trees was more valuable than 15,000 pounds of tobacco. Most colonists grew their own apples, and due to sanitation concerns, they often served a fermented cider at meals instead of water, including a diluted cider for the children. However, certain trees in the family, such as apples, pears, quince, and peaches, evolved in the wild to be too large for a bird to disperse their seeds. French pomme is from Latin pomum "apple; fruit" (see Pomona). On the surface, it would seem the apple has a value of 10, the bananas a value of four and the coconut a value of two. Genetic uniformity in crops seldom pays off, and the American apple—attacked by pests on all sides—now needs a battery of chemicals in order to survive. Like most fruit trees, Melrose apple trees require well-drained soil to thrive. Fossil and genetic evidence demonstrate that these large fruits evolved several million years before humans started cultivating them. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily, its staff, its contributors, or its partners. Over the last 40 years, banana consumption has surpassed that of the apple. Chapman collected seeds by the bushel from Pennsylvania cider mills and ferried them west, where he established apple nurseries in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and distributed wildly random seedlings to settlers far and wide. Davis plans to insert his Wikipedia-coded DNA into a bacterium capable of transferring its genome into an apple cell. Many fruiting plants in the apple family (Rosaceae) have small fruits, such as cherries, raspberries, and roses. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. DNA analysis indicates that apples originated in the mountains of Kazakhstan, where the wild Malus sieversii—the many-times great-grandparent of Malus domestica, the modern domesticated apple—still flourishes. The original story of Adam, Eve, the snake, and the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil mentions only an unspecified “fruit,” thus opening up centuries of debate over what the hapless First Couple actually ate. These small fruits are easily swallowed by birds, which then disperse their seeds. Apple, (Malus domestica), fruit of the domesticated tree Malus domestica (family Rosaceae), one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. For them, the forbidden fruit … Cherimoya is an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Divide 8 in … The trees are hardy to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 C.). The tree grows about 7.5–15 m (25–50 feet) tall and has purplish white flowers. The apple as Forbidden Fruit seems to have appeared in western Europe at least by the 12th century. They brought with them seeds and cuttings from Europe, and while the original varieties planted were not all suited for cultivation in the New World, their seeds began to produce all-new varieties of American apples. "It is important that we look past annual grasses, such as wheat and rice, when we study plant domestication. They are rich in fiber, disease-fighting anti-oxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, niacin and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Eating apples has been associated with lower risk of a variety of cancers, stroke and diabetes. The Origin of Cultivated Fruits and Vegetables. Various suggestions include everything from figs, grapes, and citrons to olives, apricots, bananas, pomegranates, and grapefruit.