Journal of Genetics

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 153–163 | Cite as

Fertility and vigour of apples in relation to chromosome number

  • M. B. Crane
  • W. J. C. Lawrence


Odd multiple polyploids are relatively infertile, consequently in fruits such asRubus and.Prunus, where seed and fruit development are closely associated, triploid and other odd multiple forms are relatively unproductive. Triploid apples however are productive,e.g. Bramley’s Seedling, a triploid, is probably more widely cultivated in this country than any other apple.

In apples a very low proportion of fruit to flowers is sufficient to give a yield. The apple has ten embryos, and often a single seed is sufficient for the development of a fruit, and even this seed may be imperfect. This approaches parthenocarpy and renders fruit production still less dependent on the formation of seeds. Fruitfulness in apples may therefore be maintained in spite of a high degree of generational sterility.

Triploidy in apples is another example of the occurrence of sterile forms in species where a substitute has been found (either in nature or in cultivation) for normal seed and fruit production. The substitution in apples is more complex than usual for, while sexual reproduction is now replaced by grafting, the necessity for the stimulus of seed growth in the formation of a fruit is largely evaded. Therefore triploids are able to fruit although incapable as a rule of yielding offspring of any value.

The offspring of triploids, whether derived from selling or crossing with diploids, lack vigour, presumably owing to their aneuploid constitution (cf. Darlington and Moffett). Consequently triploid varieties are likely to be of little value in practical breeding as the necessary vigour and fertility would rarely be obtained in the resulting offspring.


Fruit Development Sweet Cherry Florin Chromosome Complement Sour Cherry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Crane, M. B. (1926). “Studies in relation to sterility in plums, cherries, apples and raspberries.”Mem. Hort. Soc. New York, III.Google Scholar
  2. Crane, M. B. andDarlington, C. D. (1927). “The origin of new forms in Rubus.”Genetica, IX.Google Scholar
  3. Crane, M. B. andLawrence, W. J. C. (1929).“Genetical and cytological aspects of incompatibility and sterility in cultivated fruits.”Journ. Pomol. VII, 4.Google Scholar
  4. Grandall, C. S. (1924). “Additional records of self-sterility in apples.”Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. x, 63.Google Scholar
  5. Darlington C. D. andMoffett, A. A. (1930).“Primary and secondary chromosome balance in Pyrus.”Journ. Gen. XXII.Google Scholar
  6. Dickson, G. H. (1928). “Variability of vigour in apple seedlings.”Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. XIV, 165.Google Scholar
  7. Florin, R. (1926). “Pollen production and incompatibilities in apples and pears.”Mem. Hort. Soc. New York, III.Google Scholar
  8. Kobel, F. (1927). “Zytologische Untersuchungen an Prunoideen und Pomoideen.”Arch. Jul. Klaus-Stift. III.Google Scholar
  9. Kvaale, E. (1926). “Abortive and sterile apple pollen.”Mem. Hort. Soc. New York, III.Google Scholar
  10. Lantz, H. L. (1925). “Some observations on the effect of inbreeding on the vigor of apple seedlings.”Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. XI, 115.Google Scholar
  11. Nebel, B. (1929). “Zur Cytologie von Malus, II.”Zilchter, I, 7.Google Scholar
  12. — (1929). “Zur Cytologie von Malus und Vitis.”Gartenbauwiss. I, 6.Google Scholar
  13. Rybin, V. A. (1926). “Cytological investigations of the genusMalus (preliminary account).”Bull. Appl. Bot. (Lening.), XVI.Google Scholar
  14. Wellington, R. (1924). “An experiment in breeding apples.”Tech. Bull. 160,New York Agr. Exp. Sta. Geneva. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1930

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. B. Crane
    • 1
  • W. J. C. Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.John Innes Horticultural InstitutionMerton

Personalised recommendations