'Extra healthy' apples on the way as scientists crack genetic code for Golden Delicious

The genetic code of the apple has been mapped by researchers, paving the way for crunchier, juicier and healthier fruits to be developed.

The information from the Golden Delicious variety is already being used to breed red-fleshed apples with more anti-oxidants, which are credited with health benefits from keeping joints healthy to warding off Alzheimer’s. Apples that suppress appetite could also be in the pipeline, with the first varieties on shelves within five years.

Researcher Roger Hellens of New Zealand firm Plant & Food Research, said: ‘Now we have the sequence of the apple genome, we will be able to identify the genes which control the characteristics that our sensory scientists have identified as most desired by consumers – crispiness, juiciness and flavour.’

The decoding of the apple’s DNA has also shed new light on its origins. It suggests that a plant that became the apple tree was born around 65million years ago, when a comet is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs.

Source - Daily Mail