Here's a good talk on apple DNA/ancestry research, from WSU.
I'll have to think about getting "Miss Jessamine" DNA tested. Read the video description for contact info. From Dr. Peace's notes: "Please note that this is NOT a commercial service but rather a research opportunity. Besides genetics answers provided back to you, knowledge of public interest might be revealed such as filling of gaps in the cultivated apple family tree. DNA profiles of apple tree submissions (your name redacted) are added to a larger dataset (publicly accessible by scientists) and might be used as examples in future scientific presentations and studies."
I love this. Thanks for posting the link to the video.
I wish the database was available to the general public and not just scientists. They know the genealogy of a couple thousand cultivars, but only a few hundred have actually been published. Eric Bina has put together a great database of genetically proven lineages on the NAFEX website (members only page) from all the published ones that he could find.
I have a couple feral finds that I've been evaluating (and cloning) and would love to figure out what they're related too. I'm fairly certain one of them is part native Malus fusca, but I'd love to confirm that. I'll have to plan to get this testing done!
Looks like the price came down to $50. Seems like that what Cameron Peace, who runs the testing lab at WSU, said this morning when he was on a Zoom meeting on heirloom orchards. He was encouraging people to submit apples to be tested, though he did say that you won't get results back for at least six months. It's a long wait, but could be worth it.
For something as high tech and cutting edge as this a six month wait is totally worth it!
$50 is exciting. At that price I can see myself using it.
Quick update, Dr. Peace has received my "Miss Jessamine" DNA and it will be included in their next batch of DNA analyses. I should know the results (i.e. the father and mother varieties) in a few months.
Also a side note, some of my Miss Jessamine apples are huge this year.
Dave, I seem to have lost the labels on mine, but just picked a very large yellow and clean apple in a place I'm likely to have grafted it. Just came on to ask when yours ripen and see your post. Did you pick it last weekend? The color on mine are quite as rich, but its also probably a little cooler and less light at on mine.
It matches what I remember. Quality fruit, pleasant apple.
Jafar - yes any that are exposed to sun should be ripe now. Usually you can just look at the "clean" ones which have fallen, to know when to start picking. The sun exposure seems to have the following effects:
- no sun: stays green, not real sweet
- partial sun - turns yellow with a little russeting on top. Fairly sweet.
- full sun - turns yellow with a pink or red blush, with russeting on top. Very sweet.
The one characteristic I notice is skin that is slightly thicker than most varieties. A little harder to bite, but the same seems to be true for pest insects. I.e. my Miss Jessamine apples tend to have a lot fewer bug issues. Not completely immune to them though.
We've got deer, rabbits, and lots of other critters. Sometimes fallen fruit stay for a while, but not always. I got a deeper yellow one like yours from the tree today. I think I prefer the less ripe one from before, this one was a little soft already.
Interesting related project in Colorado -
That was an interesting article. I didn't read it all, but I found the title misleading. I thought it was about a means to bring back extinct varieties. But sounds like what its referring to is using science to identify found apples.
Thanks for posting this! I plan to submit my volunteer apple tree for analysis. It's a fantastic tree with a lot of good attributes. It was slow to produce apples, which seems to be normal for seedling apple trees.
My guess is that one parent is Gala, since it looks a lot like my Gala apples. It has a similar texture to Gala, but the flavor is much more complex; and it produces larger apples than my Gala, although they're still maybe medium in size. The tree seems to be naturally dwarfing, since it's only around 9 feet tall after maybe 9 or 10 years.
It has been amazingly disease resistant, with not even a spot of scab on the leaves or apples. It was bothered by a little bit of anthracnose when it was only a few years old; that was "cured" by my version of tree paste (compost, sand, and Surround clay). Other than that there hasn't been any disease issue.
If this tree had appeared today, I may have decided not to keep it since space in the orchard is at a premium, and I now know that most seedlings won't produce good apples. Thankfully there was plenty of room in the orchard ten years ago, since I was just getting started and was willing and happy to experiment.
It's probably too late now to submit for this year, if so next spring for sure.
Thanks, again, davem, for sharing the video.
That's a beautiful apple!
No scab? Wow. People are going to want to know more about it. Please keep us posted when get the DNA results back.