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December 01, 2006

We know why apples are red

apple photo by PPDIGITAL/flickr.com

After a five year search, scientists in Australia have located the gene that controls the red color of apples. Apples get their red color from chemical compounds called Anthocyanins, and the researchers have figured out which gene controls the amount of Anthocyanin produced.

Produce industry folks are hoping this discovery will lead to new and more popular varieties of apple. Me, I hope they extract that gene and start putting it into all sorts of other fruits and vegetables. I could really use a watermelon that is red on both the inside and outside.

There are a number of science websites reporting the discovery, but it's more fun to read about it at Food-USA navigator!

(Apple photo by PPDIGITAL/flickr)

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at December 1, 2006 10:16 AM


I believe that what these Aussie scientists have discovered is *how* apples become red, rather than *why*. For "why", I'd want to know what evolutionary pressures selected for the red apple. Give 'em another couple weeks and they'll probably figure that out, too.

Posted by: G. L. Dryfoos at December 2, 2006 07:16 AM