Silk road and genetics have helped scientists to find the homeland of apples

Silk road and genetics have helped scientists to find the homeland of apples

MOSCOW, 15 Aug — RIA Novosti. Home to all varieties of modern apples is Kazakhstan or mountainous areas in the North-West of China, which is spread on the Ground helped the silk road, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

“We managed to reduce the area of search for an alleged homeland of apples from all over Central Asia to a small area of Kazakhstan and China on the Western spurs of the Tian Shan. In addition, we followed the evolution of this fruit and its spread to the East and to the West via the silk road, and found that the appearance and taste of apples was varied at each step of this long journey,” says Janczyn Fay (Zhangjun Fei) from Cornell University in Ithaca (USA).

Apple, as today, scientists believe, have been domesticated relatively late, in fact, on the decline of antiquity, about four thousand years ago.

In accordance with ancient Greek Chronicles, these fruits have been domesticated by Alexander the great, who took with them from Sogdiana, the most Northern and the Eastern provinces of the Persian Empire, the first seedlings of dwarf Apple trees.

In turn, modern genetic and species analysis points to two possible ancestral homeland of apples, Turkey, where today grow many wild relatives of Apple trees and where there is maximum species diversity, and Central Asia, where it grows a direct ancestor of modern cultivars of these plants, Malus sieversii (Malus sieversii).

Fay and his colleagues uncovered the real homeland of apples, located in a mountainous area in the South-East of Kazakhstan and North-West China and find out what role in their development was played by the silk road, studying the DNA of hundreds of varieties of modern apples, traditionally popular in Asia and Europe.