Malus domestica (Apple, MALDO) | BCH-ORGA-SCBD-12099 | Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House

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Organism (ORGA)

published: 05 Apr 2006 last updated: 17 Jun 2016
Organism information
Malus domestica
Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Rosales
Family Rosaceae
Genus Malus
Species Malus domestica
  • Apple
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  • MALDO
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Crops
Domesticated
Characteristics related to biosafety
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.
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The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern Turkey.
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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.
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  • Food
Additional Information
The various Malus species include the flowering crabapples, edible fruit crabapples, as well as the domesticated grocery and orchard apples.
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Records referencing this document Show in search
Record type Field Record(s)
Living Modified Organism Recipient Organism” or “Parental Organisms 6
Genetic element Donor organism(s) 5