The genome sequence of the apple is published in this week's issue of Nature Genetics. A high-quality draft genome sequence of the 'Golden Delicious' apple variety is reported.
The domesticated apple appeared in the Near East approximately 4,000 years ago. The apple crop is the main fruit crop of temperate regions and worldwide apple production now exceeds 60 million metric tons, or approximately 20 pounds of apples per year per person.
Riccardo Velasco and colleagues sequenced and assembled the domesticated apple genome, which is approximately 742.3 million base pairs long. The genome assembly covers approximately 81.3% of the genome sequence.
The data could prove a useful resource for breeding improved apple varieties in the future.