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An Apple A Day Keeps The Catastrophe Away!

How did the apple manage to survive what killed off the dinosaurs?

red apples

Photo: Eric Victor Gitter (Flickr)

Researchers think the apple survived what killed off the dinosaurs.

You might think that the environmental catastrophe that destroyed the dinosaur population was pretty intense. Well, new research has found that the ancestor of our modern day apple was affected by this as well.

How Were Apples Able To Adapt When The Dinosaurs Perished?

Researchers believe that whatever wiped out the dinosaurs 60 million years ago may have triggered a genetic response in the apple. The response lead to crispier, juicer, and more flavorful apples.

Changing Chromosomes

Researchers compared the apple’s chromosomes with others in the same Roseceae family (including peaches, raspberries, strawberries, and pears).

They found that apples and pears have 17 chromosomes in common. This makes researchers think that apple’s chromosomes were copied over and over again and that the duplicate genes are related to fruit development. Scientists believe there was an “apple ancestor” that occurred 50 to 65 million years ago.

Dr. Sue Gardiner, a molecular biologist at The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research said:

This suggests that a major environmental event forced certain species, including apple, to evolve for survival.

Survival

If apples can make it, what other species do you think could survive major catastrophe?

Read More:

  • Did the apple survive the catastrophe that did in the dinosaurs? (USA Today)
  • Genome of the apple laid bare (ABC Science)

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Margaret Aprison

Margaret is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Psychology. The daughter of two scientists, Margaret has been surrounded by the subject her entire life. She enjoys social media, writing, television, and, of course, science!

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