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– **Etymology and Taxonomy**
– The word ‘apple’ comes from the Proto-Germanic noun ‘aplaz’ and is descended from Proto-Indo-European ‘h₂ébōl.’
– Modern names for apples include Malus pumila and Malus domestica, with the latter being more commonly used in the 21st century.
– The wild ancestor of Malus domestica is Malus sieversii, found in Central Asia.
– The General Committee of the IAPT approved the name change to Malus domestica in 2017.

– **Botanical Description and Cultivation**
– Apple trees are deciduous, ranging from 2 to 9 meters in height, with dark green oval leaves and white flowers.
– Apples are pomes maturing in late summer or autumn, typically 7 to 8.5cm in diameter.
– Cultivation of apples began in Central Asia, particularly in the Tian Shan mountains, with wild Malus sieversii trees in Kazakhstan.
– Cultivation allowed genetic introgression over time, with apples being related to crabapples due to genetic exchange.

– **Genetics and Distribution**
– Apples are diploid with 17 chromosomes and an estimated genome size of around 650 Mb.
– The first whole genome sequence was based on Golden Delicious, with recent sequences supporting estimates of 42,000 to 44,700 protein-coding genes.
– Central Asia is considered the center of origin for apples, with genetic variability supporting this, especially in the wild ancestor Malus sieversii.
– Apples originated in the mountains of Central Asia, with significant genetic diversity in the region.

– **History and Cultural Significance**
– Apples have a long history of cultivation, dating back to at least 6500 BCE and being grown by ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
– The fruit was brought to North America by European colonists and has over 7,500 varieties grown worldwide.
– Apples are a symbol of knowledge and temptation in biblical stories, with cultural significance in myths, folklore, traditional medicine, art, and literature.
– They are celebrated in festivals and events globally.

– **Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, and Economic Importance**
– Apples are high in fiber and vitamin C, low in calories, and contain antioxidants, aiding in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
– They improve heart health, aid digestion, may help manage diabetes, support weight loss, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
– Apples are the top fruit crop globally, valued at billions of dollars annually, providing livelihoods to millions and being a major export commodity.
– They are used in various industries like food processing and cosmetics.

Apple (Wikipedia)

An apple is a round, edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus spp., among them the domestic or orchard apple; Malus domestica). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were introduced to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek, and European Christian tradition.

'Cripps Pink' apples
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Malus
M. domestica
Binomial name
Malus domestica
Borkh., 1803
  • M. communis Desf., 1768
  • M. pumila Mil.
  • M. frutescens Medik.
  • M. paradisiaca (L.) Medikus
  • M. sylvestris Mil.
  • Pyrus malus L.
  • Pyrus malus var. paradisiaca L.
  • Pyrus dioica Moench

Apples grown from seed tend to be very different from those of their parents, and the resultant fruit frequently lacks desired characteristics. For commercial purposes, including botanical evaluation, apple cultivars are propagated by clonal grafting onto rootstocks. Apple trees grown without rootstocks tend to be larger and much slower to fruit after planting. Rootstocks are used to control the speed of growth and the size of the resulting tree, allowing for easier harvesting.

There are more than 7,500 cultivars of apples. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, eating raw, and cider or apple juice production. Trees and fruit are prone to fungal, bacterial, and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit's genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.

Worldwide production of apples in 2021 was 93 million tonnes, with China accounting for nearly half of the total.

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