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for you apple nerds out there: a malus sieversii database

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Widespread Malus has compiled data on the USDA collection of Malus sieversii (Central Asia- genetic homeland of apples) that might be useful in selecting accessions (scions or budwood) to request from USDA. We are collecting a ‘core diversity collection’ from the USDA collection that is especially diverse. Our goals are to make this diversity available to others, to grow out large number of open-pollinated seedlings, and make deliberate crosses with hand pollination in pursuit of useful new apple cultivars. However, there are a large number of other Malus sieversii in the USDA apple collection that will not be part of our diversity subset.

USDA’s Malus sieversii collection has enormous genetic diversity, and could serve as a useful reservoir of genes for use in breeding projects. There is already work being done in academia and by small numbers of nursery professionals and/or hobbyists.

We are hopeful that others can use this data compilation in their own work!

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kyrgyzstan bans all gmo products and gm crops!

The Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan’s recent vote to ban all gmo products and gm crops is important. Why? It is estimated that 90% of all temperate fruit in the WORLD genetically comes from this region. With food forests dotting the mountainous countrysides of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, it is the Eden of the world, brandishing a diversity of ancient fruit genetics that is unparalleled  by any other place on earth. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are known as the birthplace of apples, where these genetics have been evolving for 4.5 million years. Good job, Kyrgyzstan!

 

IMG_0979Photo source: Eliza Greenman