Apple hybrid developed by University of Horticulture and Forestry after 30 years of research
After research lasting about 30 years, the scientists of Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Uttarakhand University of Horticulture and Forestry have managed to develop a hybrid variety of apples by cross breeding three different varieties of the fruit. The university claims that it is for the first time that a new variety of apple has been developed successfully by cross breeding three varieties of the fruit. They state that this development will decrease the dependence of the state’s apple growers on foreign varieties of apples. The university claims that the hybrid apple developed by the university’s scientists is juicy, tasty, has an attractive red colour and is shapely. It is being hoped that this new variety will boost the efforts being undertaken in the state to enhance the cultivation and production of apples.
It is pertinent to mention that at present, apple varieties from New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, USA and Europe are being cultivated in Uttarakhand. The apples of these varieties have different characteristics- some being preferred for taste, some for colour, some for shape while some are noted for high yield. However, none of the varieties have multiple favourable characteristics. Considering this, about thirty years ago, the university of horticulture and forestry, Ranichauri campus dean MC Nautiyal had initiated research work for developing a new variety of apple.In 1986, he had started work on developing a new variety by cross breeding the Red Delicious and Early Sunberry varieties. Following the efforts, a new variety was developed in 1996 but in taste it was not very sweet and it was yellowish in colour. Due to these factors, this variety was not favoured. In 1998, Nautiyal began experimenting with cross breeding of this variety with the Tydeman variety of apple. The resulting hybrid was ready by 2010. To ascertain the special characteristics of this hybrid, it was cultivated in the university campus for about a decade. Horticulture specialist Tejpal Singh Bisht and plant disease expert Lakshmi Rawat were looking after the hybrid trees and handling the testing. In these past years, the hybrid apple trees were bearing considerable quantities of fruit much to the joy of the university scientists and staff. Nautiyal and Bisht informed that the hybrid developed in the university has the characteristics of the three varieties which were used in the cross breeding. These hybrid apples are sweet and sour due to which they will be liked more by the people. The shape, taste, colour and luster of these apples is also more attractive as compared to the other varieties. This hybrid apple ripens and is ready by July- August, they said.
The university vice chancellor Ajit Kumar Karnatak said that for the first time in the country, a new apple variety has been successfully developed from the cross breeding of three varieties. He said, “This is a unique variety of apple and will prove to be a milestone for horticulturists in the state. Very soon, this hybrid will be named and provided to the growers.”
Thursday, 06 August 2020 | Vinod Chamoli | New Tehri