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.
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.
If apples can make it, what other species do you think could survive major catastrophe?
- Did the apple survive the catastrophe that did in the dinosaurs? (USA Today)
- Genome of the apple laid bare (ABC Science)