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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2006-04-05 10:36 UTC (kirsty.mclean.consultant@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2016-06-17 15:32 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2016-06-17 15:32 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

Organism information
Scientific name
Malus domestica
Taxonomic Classification
SpeciesMalus domestica
Common name(s)
Additional Classification
Type of organism
Organism domestication
  • Domesticated
Characteristics related to biosafety
Centre(s) of origin
The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today.

The Domestic Apple is a hybrid mixture of at least four different wild species including Malus sylvestris, M. pumila, M. dasyphylla and M. sieversii. These species occur in the cool temperate regions of Europe, the Near East and central Asia. It is difficult to ascertain when domestication of apples began but apple remains in archaeological sites dating back to the Neolithic suggest that from the earliest times, apples were being harvested from the wild and eaten.

Presumably apple trees started growing round habitations from discarded apple pips. However, the earliest evidence of apple domestication dates back to only the 10th Century BC from a site in Israel between Sinai and the Negev. This site is well outside the range of the wild apple species yet apple cores occur in large numbers suggesting apple trees were cultivated and probably irrigated as this region is so dry.
Centre(s) of genetic diversity
The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern Turkey.
Geographical distribution
Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. At least 55 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2005, with a value of about $10 billion. China produced about 35% of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 7.5% of world production. Iran is third, followed by Turkey, Russia, Italy and India.
Common use(s)
  • Food
Additional Information
Additional Information
The various Malus species include the flowering crabapples, edible fruit crabapples, as well as the domesticated grocery and orchard apples.
Other relevant website address or attached documents

Records referencing this document (11)
11record(s) found
Gene and DNA Sequence5 records
Modified Organism6 records