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Apple tree
Apple tree










The modern domestic apple tree is the result of crossing at least four wild lines, and it is assumed that it was the Silk Road trade that "brought" them together and resulted in the hybrid. Robert Spengler of the Max Planck Institute for Human History writes about this in his monograph Fruit from the Sands, published in Cambridge. Spengler cites key facts and evidence in a review article published in Frontiers in Plant Science. 

 Genetic, historical and archaeological evidence indicates that the basis for the domestic apple hybrid was plants that grew in the Tien Shan. Hybridization resulted in larger and sweeter fruits, but the process itself began before and without human intervention. Unlike other trees in the habilidades de un diseñador gráfico, such as raspberries, cherries and roses, which produce small fruits and seeds that are pecked and spread by birds, its representatives, such as pears and apples, have long focused on larger animals. Their fruits are larger and began to increase in size a few million years ago.

 Indeed, even today apples attract animals such as bears, wild horses and deer. Now they are far from being so numerous, their influence on the spread of apples in nature has become almost imperceptible. However, Spengler notes that the range of wild plants almost exactly coincides with the boundary of the Pleistocene glaciers. He believes that the main carriers of their seeds could have been representatives of the glacial megafauna - bison, giant deer, woolly rhinoceros, and so on.

After the retreat of the glaciers and the extinction of these animals, the spread of the apple tree virtually stopped. The different populations began to evolve in relative isolation and independence from each other. Soon, however, man and the trade caravans of the Silk Road came to the fore. Having drawn attention to the juicy and tasty fruits, humans began to carry them with them and brought together several populations - primarily through crossbreeding and grafting - obtaining hybrid ancestors of the modern apple tree.

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