Scientists Discover New Species of Apple Tree


A team of geneticists from the University of York’s School of Natural Sciences, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Exeter and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have discovered a new species of apple tree, which is also used in cocktails, the Royal Society said.

They have named the species, Acralicta aculeata, and named the tree the Acralicta aculeata. The tree can be found growing near the banks at the base of cliffs in a coastal gorge in Cornwall – close to the famous Northumberland village of Cairde.

Professor Anthony Ritchie, first author of the report, said that there were two different kinds of apple trees in English speaking countries.

The Acralicta aculeata (the red apple-tree), which can easily be distinguished from other trees after picking the fruit, is found in North America, Australia and New Zealand. Some have even been grown in Europe and Asia.

The Acralicta glabra, found in Europe and Asia, is a tree that has lost its red color, has fewer branches and resembles other species of red apple tree.

After searching through the tree’s DNA to discover the new species, they concluded that its genome was the key to unlocking its identity.

They believe that when the tree dies the fruit and its sap will no longer be in place to reproduce, creating fruit without sap. They will therefore revert back to a ‘wild’ tree, an explanation they believe would explain the rarity of the fruit in these areas.

The tree and its sap were found by Andrew Tummon, an interdisciplinary scientist from the University of Exeter and the University of York’s School of Natural Sciences. He led the team by sequencing DNA from the fruit and from sap in an attempt to discover the DNA-specific gene that allowed the tree to survive.

Professor Tummon will now work to develop a tool that would allow researchers to analyze ancient DNA samples for clues to the genetics of species.

Prof Ritchie said: “We are very excited to have found this apple tree. We believe that it is part of the natural history of this beautiful landscape, so this is a significant find.

“It’s fascinating because we know what species of apple tree this new apple tree is related to, but there are no living trees around, so no one is sure when this tree is old enough

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