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The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apples grow on small, deciduous trees. HP Pavilion dv6-1045ee CPU Fan

The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have been present in the mythology and religions of many cultures, including Norse, Greek and Christian traditions. HP Pavilion dv7-4050ev CPU Fan

In 2010, the fruit's genome was decoded as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, fresh eating and cider production. HP Pavilion dv6t-3200 CTO CPU Fan

Domestic apples are generally propagated by grafting, although wild apples grow readily from seed. Trees are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means.

About 69 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2010, and China produced almost half of this total. Toshiba Satellite L505-144 CPU Fan

The United Statesis the second-leading producer, with more than 6% of world production. Turkey is third, followed by Italy, India and Poland. Apples are often eaten raw, but can also be found in many prepared foods (especially desserts) and drinks. Many beneficial health effects are thought to result from eating apples; Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan 

however, two forms of allergies are seen to various proteins found in the fruit.

The apple forms a tree that is small and deciduous, generally standing 1.8 to 4.6 m (6 to 15 ft) tall in cultivation and up to 9.1 m (30 ft) in the wild. When cultivated, the size, shape and branch density is determined by rootstock selection and trimming method.Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

The leaves are alternately arranged dark green-colored simple ovals with serrated margins and slightly downy undersides.[3]

Blossoms are produced in spring simultaneously with the budding of the leaves, and are produced on spurs and some long shoots.Toshiba Satellite A660-BT2N22 CPU Fan

The 3 to 4 cm (1.2 to 1.6 in) flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, five petaled, with aninflorescence consisting of a cyme with 4–6 flowers. The central flower of the inflorescence is called the "king bloom"; it opens first, and can develop a larger fruit.[3][4]

The fruit matures in autumn, and varieties exist with a wide range of sizes. Toshiba Satellite P305-S8814 CPU Fan

Commercial growers aim to produce an apple that is 7.0 to 8.3 cm (2.75 to 3.25 in) in diameter, due to market preference. Some consumers, especially those in Japan, prefer a larger apple, while apples below 5.7 cm (2.25 in) are generally used for making juice and have little fresh market value. Toshiba Satellite L550-13U CPU Fan

The skin of ripe apples is generally red, yellow, green or pink, although many bi- or tri-colored varieties may be found.[5] The skin may also be wholly or partly russeted i.e. rough and brown. The skin is covered in a protective layer

The original wild ancestor of Malus domestica was Malus sieversiiLenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge E420 Keyboard

found growing wild in the mountains of Central Asia in southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Xinjiang, China.[3][7] Cultivation of the species, most likely beginning on the forested flanks of the Tian Shan mountains, progressed over a long period of time and permitted secondary introgression of genes from other species into the open-pollinated seeds. HP Pavilion G61-336NR CPU Fan

Significant exchange with Malus sylvestris, the crabapple, resulted in current populations of apples to be more related to crabapples than to the more morphologically similar progenitor Malus sieversii. In strains without recent admixture the contribution of the latter predominates. HP Pavilion dv7-6184ca CPU Fan

In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had decoded the complete genome of the apple in collaboration with horticultural genomicists at Washington State University,[11] using the Golden delicious variety.[12] It had about 57,000 genes, the highest number of any plant genome studied to date[13] and more genes than the human genome (about 30,000).[14] HP Pavilion dv7-3125eo CPU Fan

This new understanding of the apple genome will help scientists in identifying genes and gene variants that contribute to resistance to disease and drought, and other desirable characteristics. Understanding the genes behind these characteristics will allow scientists to perform more knowledgeable selective breeding. HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx CPU Fan

Decoding the genome also provided proof that Malus sieversii was the wild ancestor of the domestic apple—an issue that had been long-debated in the scientific community.

The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern Turkey. The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated,[16] IBM MCF-C10AM05 CPU Fan

and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in Asia in 328 BCE;[3] those he brought back to Macedonia might have been the progenitors of dwarfing root stocks. Winter apples, picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing, have been an important food in Asia and Europe for millennia.[16] SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

Apples were brought to North America by colonists in the 17th century,[3] and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625.[17] The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called "common apples".[18] DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

Apple varieties brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on Colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the "best" varieties, showing the proliferation of new North American varieties by the early 19th century.[18] HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

In the 20th century, irrigation projects in Eastern Washington began and allowed the development of the multibillion dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product.[3]

Until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale. FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage.[19][20] In the 21st century, long-term storage again came into popularity, as "controlled atmosphere" facilities were used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilities use high humidity and low oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to maintain fruit freshness. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

In Norse mythology, the goddess Iðunn is portrayed in the Prose Edda (written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson) as providing apples to the gods that give them eternal youthfulness. English scholar H. R. Ellis Davidson links apples to religious practices in Germanic paganism, from which Norse paganism developed. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

She points out that buckets of apples were found in the Oseberg ship burial site in Norway, and that fruit and nuts (Iðunn having been described as being transformed into a nut in Skáldskaparmál) have been found in the early graves of the Germanic peoples in England and elsewhere on the continent of Europe, ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

which may have had a symbolic meaning, and that nuts are still a recognized symbol of fertility in southwest England.[22]

Davidson notes a connection between apples and the Vanir, a tribe of gods associated with fertility in Norse mythology, citing an instance of eleven "golden apples" being given to woo the beautiful Gerðr by Skírnir, HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

who was acting as messenger for the major Vanir god Freyr in stanzas 19 and 20 of Skírnismál. Davidson also notes a further connection between fertility and apples in Norse mythology in chapter 2 of the Völsunga saga when the major goddess Frigg sends King Rerir an apple after he prays to Odin for a child, HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

Frigg's messenger (in the guise of a crow) drops the apple in his lap as he sits atop a mound.[23] Rerir's wife's consumption of the apple results in a six-year pregnancy and the Caesarean section birth of their son—the hero Völsung.[24]

Further, Davidson points out the "strange" phrase "Apples of Hel" used in an 11th-century poem by the skald Thorbiorn Brúnarson.FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

She states this may imply that the apple was thought of by Brúnarson as the food of the dead. Further, Davidson notes that the potentially Germanic goddess Nehalennia is sometimes depicted with apples and that parallels exist in early Irish stories. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

Davidson asserts that while cultivation of the apple in Northern Europe extends back to at least the time of the Roman Empire and came to Europe from the Near East, the native varieties of apple trees growing in Northern Europe are small and bitter. Davidson concludes that in the figure of Iðunn "we must have a dim reflection of an old symbol: that of the guardian goddess of the life-giving fruit of the other world." Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. One of the problems identifying apples in religion,mythology and folktales is that the word "apple" was used as a generic term for all (foreign) fruit, other than berries, including nuts, as late as the 17th century.[25] HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

For instance, in Greek mythology, the Greek hero Heracles, as a part of his Twelve Labours, was required to travel to the Garden of the Hesperides and pick the golden apples off the Tree of Life growing at its center.

The Greek goddess of discord, Eris, became disgruntled after she was excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.[ Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

In retaliation, she tossed a golden apple inscribed Καλλίστη (Kalliste, sometimes transliterated Kallisti, 'For the most beautiful one'), into the wedding party. Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Paris of Troy was appointed to select the recipient. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

After being bribed by both Hera and Athena, Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. He awarded the apple to Aphrodite, thus indirectly causing the Trojan War.

The apple was thus considered, in ancient Greece, to be sacred to Aphrodite, and to throw an apple at someone was to symbolically declare one's love; HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

and similarly, to catch it was to symbolically show one's acceptance of that love.[30] An epigram claiming authorship by Plato states:

I throw the apple at you, and if you are willing to love me, take it and share your girlhood with me; but if your thoughts are what I pray they are not, even then take it, and consider how short-lived is beauty. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

Atalanta, also of Greek mythology, raced all her suitors in an attempt to avoid marriage. She outran all but Hippomenes (also known as Melanion, a name possibly derived from melon the Greek word for both "apple" and fruit in general),[27] who defeated her by cunning, not speed. Hippomenes knew that he could not win in a fair race, so he used three golden apples (gifts of Aphrodite, the goddess of love) to distract Atalanta. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

It took all three apples and all of his speed, but Hippomenes was finally successful, winning the race and Atalanta's hand.

Though the forbidden fruit of Eden in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition has held that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her.[32]  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

The origin of the popular identification with a fruit unknown in the Middle East in biblical times is found in confusion between the Latin words mālum (an apple) and mălum (an evil), each of which is normally written malum.[33] The tree of the forbidden fruit is called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in Genesis 2:17, and the Latin for "good and evil" isbonum et malum.[34]Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

Renaissance painters may also have been influenced by the story of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides. As a result, in the story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man into sin, and sin itself. Thelarynx in the human throat has been called Adam's apple because of a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit remaining in the throat of Adam.[ SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

The apple as symbol of sexual seduction has been used to imply human sexuality, possibly in an ironic vein.

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples.[35] Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock.[36] Different cultivars are available for temperate and subtropical climates. HP Pavilion dv6-3131tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The UK's National Fruit Collection, which is the responsibility of the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, has a collection of over 2,000 accessions in Kent.[37] The University of Reading, which is responsible for developing the UK national collection database, provides access to search the national collection. HP 622029-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The University of Reading's work is part of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources of which there are 38 countries participating in the Malus/Pyrus work group.[38]

The UK's national fruit collection database contains a wealth of information on the characteristics and origin of many apples,Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7047 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

including alternative names for what is essentially the same 'genetic' apple variety. Most of these cultivars are bred for eating fresh (dessert apples), though some are cultivated specifically for cooking (cooking apples) or producingcider. Cider apples are typically too tart and astringent to eat fresh, but they give the beverage a rich flavor that dessert apples cannot.[39] HP Pavilion dv7-4170ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Commercially popular apple cultivars are soft but crisp. Other desired qualities in modern commercial apple breeding are a colorful skin, absence of russeting, ease of shipping, lengthy storage ability, high yields, disease resistance, common apple shape, and developed flavor.[36] HP Pavilion dv4-1506tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Modern apples are generally sweeter than older cultivars, as popular tastes in apples have varied over time. Most North Americans and Europeans favor sweet, subacid apples, but tart apples have a strong minority following.[40] Extremely sweet apples with barely any acid flavor are popular in Asia[40] and especially India.[39] Compaq Presario CQ61-411WM Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Old cultivars are often oddly shaped, russeted, and have a variety of textures and colors. Some find them to have a better flavor than modern cultivars,[41] but may have other problems which make them commercially unviable from low yield, disease susceptibility, or poor tolerance for storage or transport. IBM FRU 46L4753 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

A few old cultivars are still produced on a large scale, but many have been preserved by home gardeners and farmers that sell directly to local markets. Many unusual and locally important cultivars with their own unique taste and appearance exist; HP Pavilion dv6-3190sf Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

apple conservation campaigns have sprung up around the world to preserve such local cultivars from extinction. In the United Kingdom, old cultivars such as 'Cox's Orange Pippin' and 'Egremont Russet' are still commercially important even though by modern standards they are low yielding and susceptible to disease. SONY Vaio VGN-FZ21E Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In the wild, apples grow readily from seeds. However, like most perennial fruits, apples are ordinarily propagated asexually by grafting. This is because seedling apples are an example of "extreme heterozygotes", in that rather than inheriting DNA from their parents to create a new apple with those characteristics, they are instead significantly different from their parents.[42HP G42-415DX Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

] Triploid varieties have an additional reproductive barrier in that 3 sets of chromosomes cannot be divided evenly during meiosis, yielding unequal segregation of the chromosomes (aneuploids). Even in the case when a triploid plant can produce a seed (apples are an example), it occurs infrequently, and seedlings rarely survive.[43] HP 646578-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Because apples do not breed true when planted as seeds, grafting is generally used to produce new apple trees. The rootstockused for the bottom of the graft can be selected to produce trees of a large variety of sizes, as well as changing the winter hardiness, insect and disease resistance, and soil preference of the resulting tree. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

Dwarf rootstocks can be used to produce very small trees (less than 3.0 m (10 ft) high at maturity), which bear fruit earlier in their life cycle than full size trees.[44] Dwarf rootstocks for apple trees can be traced as far back as 300 BC, to the area of Persia and Asia Minor.Alexander the Great sent samples of dwarf apple trees to Aristotle's Lyceum.  Dell Latitude E6500 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Dwarf rootstocks became common by the 15th century, and later went through several cycles of popularity and decline throughout the world.[45] The majority of the rootstocks used today to control size in apples were developed in England in the early 1900s. The East Malling Research Station conducted extensive research into rootstocks, SONY Vaio VGN-NR120Q Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

and today their rootstocks are given an "M" prefix to designate their origin. Rootstocks marked with an "MM" prefix are Malling-series varieties later crossed with trees of the Northern Spy variety in Merton, England.Most new apple cultivars originate as seedlings, which either arise by chance or are bred by deliberately crossing cultivars with promising characteristics.[4Toshiba Satellite A205-S5879 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

7]The words 'seedling', 'pippin', and 'kernel' in the name of an apple cultivar suggest that it originated as a seedling. Apples can also form bud sports(mutations on a single branch). Some bud sports turn out to be improved strains of the parent cultivar. Some differ sufficiently from the parent tree to be considered new cultivars.[48] HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Since the 1930s, the Excelsior Experiment Station at the University of Minnesota has introduced a steady progression of important apples that are widely grown, both commercially and by local orchardists, throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Its most important contributions have included 'Haralson' (which is the most widely cultivated apple in Minnesota), 'Wealthy', 'Honeygold', and 'Honeycrisp'. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Apples have been acclimatized in Ecuador at very high altitudes, where they provide crops twice per year because of constant temperate conditions year-round.

Apples are self-incompatible; they must cross-pollinate to develop fruit. During the flowering each season, apple growers often utilize pollinators to carry pollen. HP Pavilion dv6-2016ax Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Honey bees are most commonly used. Orchard mason bees are also used as supplemental pollinators in commercial orchards. Bumblebee queens are sometimes present in orchards, but not usually in enough quantity to be significant pollinators.

Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock. SONY Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Some cultivars, if left unpruned, will grow very large, which allows them to bear much more fruit, but makes harvesting very difficult. Depending on the tree density (number of trees planted per unit surface area), mature trees typically bear 40–200 kg (88–441 lb) of apples each year, though productivity can be close to zero in poor years. HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Apples are harvested using three-point ladders that are designed to fit amongst the branches. Trees grafted on dwarfing rootstocks will bear about 10–80 kg (22–176 lb) of fruit per year.[48]

Crops ripen at different times of the year according to the variety of apple. Varieties that yield their crop in the summer include Gala, Golden Supreme, McIntosh, APPLE MacBook Pro 15 inch MA610LL Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Transparent, Primate, Sweet Bough, and Duchess; fall producers include Fuji, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Chenango, Gravenstein, Wealthy, McIntosh, Snow, and Blenheim; winter producers include Winesap, Granny Smith, King, Wagener, Swayzie, Greening, and Tolman Sweet. HP G71-340US Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Commercially, apples can be stored for some months in controlled-atmosphere chambers to delay ethylene-induced ripening. Apples are commonly stored in chambers with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and high air filtration. This prevents ethylene concentrations from rising to higher amounts and preventing ripening from occurring too quickly. HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Ripening continues when the fruit is removed from storage.[51] For home storage, most varieties of apple can be held for approximately two weeks when kept at the coolest part of the refrigerator (i.e. below 5 °C). Some types, including the Granny Smith and Fuji, can be stored up to a year without significant degradation. HP Pavilion dv6-3050et Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Apple trees are susceptible to a number of fungal and bacterial diseases and insect pests. Many commercial orchards pursue an aggressive program of chemical sprays to maintain high fruit quality, tree health, and high yields. A trend in orchard management is the use of organic methods. Dell Vostro 3500 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

These ban the use of some pesticides, though some older pesticides are allowed.Organic methods include, for instance, introducing its natural predator to reduce the population of a particular pest.

A wide range of pests and diseases can affect the plant; three of the more common diseases/pests are mildew, aphids and apple scab. HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Mildew: which is characterized by light grey powdery patches appearing on the leaves, shoots and flowers, normally in spring. The flowers will turn a creamy yellow color and will not develop correctly. This can be treated in a manner not dissimilar from treating Botrytis; eliminating the conditions which caused the disease in the first place and burning the infected plants are among the recommended actions to take.[54] HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Aphids: There are five species of aphids commonly found on apples: apple grain aphid, rosy apple aphid, apple aphid, spirea aphid and the woolly apple aphid. The aphid species can be identified by their color, the time of year when they are present and by differences in the cornicles, which are small paired projections from the rear of aphids.[54] HP Pavilion dv7t-6100 CTO Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Aphids feed on foliage using needle-like mouth parts to suck out plant juices. When present in high numbers, certain species reduce tree growth and vigor.[55]

Apple scab: Apple scab causes leaves to develop olive-brown spots with a velvety texture that later turn brown and become cork-like in texture. The disease also affects the fruit, which also develops similar brown spots with velvety or cork-like textures.Compaq Presario CQ61-435SA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Apple scab is spread through fungus growing in old apple leaves on the ground and spreads during warm spring weather to infect the new year's growth.[56]

Among the most serious disease problems are fireblight, a bacterial disease; and Gymnosporangium rust, and black spot, two fungal diseases.[55]  ASUS M51SE Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Codling moths andapple maggots are two other pests which affect apple trees. Young apple trees are also prone to mammal pests like mice and deer, which feed on the soft bark of the trees, especially in winter.

About 63 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2012, with China producing almost half of this total. HP G42-415DX Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 6% of world production. The largest exporters of apples in 2009 were China, the U.S., Turkey, Poland, Italy,Iran, and India while the biggest importers in the same year were Russia, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands.[58]

In the United States, more than 60% of all the apples sold commercially are grown in Washington.[59] ACER Aspire 4736ZG Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Imported apples from New Zealand and other more temperate areas are competing with U.S. production and increasing each year.[60]

Most of Australia's apple production is for domestic consumption. Imports from New Zealand have been disallowed under quarantine regulations for fireblight since 1921.[61]  HP Pavilion dv4-1133tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Other countries with a significant production are Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, Germany and South Africa.

Apples are often eaten raw. The whole fruit including the skin is suitable for human consumption except for the seeds, which may affect some consumers. The core is often not eaten and is discarded. Varieties bred for raw consumption are termed dessert or table apples.  HP Pavilion dv6-3043ee Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Apples can be canned or juiced. They are milled or pressed to produce apple juice, which may be drunk unfiltered (called apple ciderin North America), or filtered. The juice can be fermented to make cider (called hard cider in North America), ciderkin, andvinegar. Through distillation, various alcoholic beverages can be produced, such as applejack, Calvados,[62] and apfelwein. Apple seed oil[63] and pectin may also be produced.  Compaq Presario CQ61-421SG Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Apples are an important ingredient in many desserts, such as apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake. They are often eaten baked or stewed, and they can also be dried and eaten or reconstituted (soaked in water, alcohol or some other liquid) for later use. Puréed apples are generally known as apple sauce.  HP Pavilion dv6-1101au Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Apples are also made into apple butter and apple jelly. They are also used (cooked) in meat dishes.In the UK, a toffee apple is a traditional confection made by coating an apple in hot toffee and allowing it to cool. Similar treats in the U.S. are candy apples (coated in a hard shell of crystallized sugar syrup), and caramel apples, HP Pavilion dv6-3125er Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

coated with cooledcaramel.Apples are eaten with honey at the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year.Farms with apple orchards may open them to the public, so consumers may themselves pick the apples they will purchase.

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