Seedless cherimoya gene discovered
Could cherimoyas be the next bananas?
The study began with Spanish researchers José Hormaza, Maria Herrero and graduate student Jorge Lora from the Superior Council for Scientific Research in Malaga and Zaragoza. The group analyzed seedless sugar apples and found the ovules where seeds should be lacked an outer coat, the story reported.
The fruit was then compared to a mutant of the lab plant Arabidopsis which also had uncoated ovules, discovered by University of California professor Charles Glasser. After comparing the fruit and the mutant plant he found the same gene was responsible for the deformity.
"This is the first characterization of a gene for seedlessness in any crop plant," he was quoted as saying.
"This could be the next banana -- it would make it a lot more popular."
The sugar apple and custard apple varieties of the cherimoya are native to Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Central America, but are also grown in the U.S., southern Europe, north Africa, the Middle East, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.
Adam Gollner, author of 'The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession' told the Globe and Mail that while he preferred cherimoyas with seeds, making fruits seedless didn't necessarily have an effect on taste.
"Only through human cultivation were fruits improved and selected for desirable characteristics: smaller seeds, increased flesh, and refined eating quality," he was quoted as saying.
"This discredits the assumption that wild fruits are tastiest – in truth, uncultivated varieties are often inedible.”