Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Giant Gala apples

Researchers at Purdue university have discovered a giant Gala, a sport of the variety that is 15% larger than normal.

The fruits, dubbed Grand Gala by Peter Hirst and Anish Malladi, weigh 38% more.

As reported in Science Daily,

Larger apples tend to have more cells than their smaller counterparts, so Hirst theorized that there was a gene or genes that kept cell division turned on in Grand Gala. Instead, he found that Grand Gala had about the same number of cells as a regular Gala, but those cells were larger.

Maladi and Hirst's original research, published in last month's Journal of Experimental Botany, is available online, at least temporarily.

This has nothing to do with the menacing reports of Honeycrisps as big as small pumpkins in the Boston Globe last year.

Hirst predicted that Grand Galas would not be developed commercially because they are "slightly lopsided." Too bad, I'd like to try one.

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