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Showing posts from June, 2012

Opposition to the Newest Apple Product

Sorry tech geeks.  This is about fruits, not phones.

The Arctic Apple is a new product currently undergoing regulatory approval in the United States and Canada. It was developed by a small biotech company in Summerland BC, Canada, so save the Monsanto comments.


It is a non-browning apple, created using transgenic technology (probably cisgenic).  Browning is a reaction to damage. This can be cutting or bruising.  An enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (or PPO) mediates this process.  Without PPO, no browning occurs. 

A silenced gene inhibits browning.  A great development for growers and consumers.
Apples have four PPO genes.  In the Arctic Apple these genes are silenced, likely using RNAi technology.  In a very basic explanation, the native apple PPO gene is expressed in a way that causes the other PPO genes to be shut down. 

The potential benefits?  The details are here.  Huge amounts of apple fruits are culled from the tree, damaged from post-harvest handling, or are discarded by grocers or…