Eve’s apple risks to disappear from Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan the oldest apple on Earth risks to be destroyed by the wild urbanisation.

Malus sieversii, this is the name of this unique species of apple, is “only” 65 million years old but the astonish think is that it could resist to all the diseases that normally kill those fruits.

Malus does not need any of the 35 pesticides that are used to fight the parasites that infest the Snow-white fruit.

This apple is a real “living fossil”,  but now it is threatened by urbanisation.

In a press conference, few days ago, the association Alma, born two years ago to save the Malus sieversii ( “Eve’s apple”), launched its appeal.

Eve’s apple grows wild in the region of Almaty in the south east of Kazakhstan. The name Almaty means “full of apples.” For millions of years, at the foot of the Tian Shan on the border of China, this apple have grown undisturbed.

The seeds of this apple are contained in an envelope and  they can not bear fruit. This is why they need wild animals, which eat the seeds and, in the intestine, break the shells. The seeds back to the ground, germinate and grow.

To discover these apples was the Soviet biologist Nikolai Vavilov in 1929, before dying in prison, but was the agronomist Aymak Djangaliev who, in 1945, made the classification.

Only in 2010 when its the gene sequences was discovered , it turned out that the Malus sieversii was the ancestor of  all the apples of today.

The trees of this fruit are particularly beautiful, high between 20-30 meters and 2 meters wide. There’s not one that looks like another.

There are 6 thousand varieties of this apple, that unlike other wild apples, it is not small and bitter, but big and sweet. The enormous genetic diversity has made it resistant to pathogens.

So the genetic material of this apple could be crossed with the one of other apples and could seriously contribute to create more free pesticides apples.

Such work was already done in Japan with the bitter apple Malus floribunda, but it took 40 years to produce a new apple.

With the apple of Eve, according to Alma, things should be simpler. However, the real problem is deforestation.

According to Alma, already 70 percent of the apple trees are already been destroyed.

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