Domestic apple breeders have cultivated a new variety of red Aport after conducting DNA analysis on 30 species of Sivers apple. The breeders claim that the new tree is resistant to climatic changes, and its pomes can be stored for a longer duration, QazMonitor reports citing Khabar24.
Sagi Sairanuly, Director of the Talgar branch of the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Fruit Growing and Viticulture, mentioned that reintroducing the Aport variety remembered by older generations is nearly impossible due to various factors. The degeneration of the variety in Kazakhstan was influenced by both anthropogenic factors and the natural deterioration of Almaty Aport.
“Our work is based on scientific developments. First, we grow the apples in greenhouse conditions in pomological gardens, i.e., in laboratories. It takes years [to cultivate],” said Sairanuly.
Currently, only 1,200 hectares of apple trees of this type are preserved in the Trans-Ili Alatau mountain range. Most of these are aged trees that are now chipped and protected. Despite its popularity, Aport is a costly variety, agrarians say, as it is susceptible to bacterial blight and requires special care. Nowadays, farmers prefer European apple varieties for intensive horticulture.
Breeders remain cautious in their forecasts as solving the problem of Aport recultivation in Kazakhstan may take more than a decade.