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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Useful Mutants, Bred With Radiation (New York Times)

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  • From: Doug Woodard <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Useful Mutants, Bred With Radiation (New York Times)
  • Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 18:02:18 -0400

I would be cautious about assuming that all or most sports are caused by natural radiation.Cell division is complicated and Murphy's Law is pretty general.

Back in the 1970's, the Summerland BC station of Agriculture Canada publsihed a booklet on its fruit cultivars which mentioned that cultivers developed by neutron bombardment of (I think) seeds of older cultivers, had been found to be unstable. I think that Compact Lambert was one.

I have no idea whether mutations produced by other forms of radiation tend to instability; I suspect not.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Ginda Fisher wrote:
A bunch of apple cultivars were developed by exposing a buds of older cultivars to radiation. I think that's where a lot of the "spur" type, redder types, and some other variants of popular cultivars come from. Some are randomly found sports, of course (which are usually the result of natural radiation changing the genes in a bud) but I think a lot were intentionally created.

It sounds like this method is very widespread.


On Aug 28, 2007, at 12:07 PM, Brungardt, Sam wrote:

Some of you may find this story disturbing, but I found it interesting and informative even though the writer described Japanese pears as a cross between apples and pears. -- Sam Brungardt, St. Paul, Minn.

*Useful Mutants, Bred With Radiation*
Public fears aside, scientists mimic nature's genetic scrambling to bolster fruits and vegetables, as well as beer and whiskey.

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