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Bulgarian scientists created new fruit

Photo: bnt.bg
Bulgarian scientists succeeded in the creation of a new botanical species: Stendesto. This is the response to the popular in the USA plumcot – a hybrid between a plumb and an apricot. The peculiar new fruit is the result from long years of scientific experiments, made by a team of the Fruit Growing Institute in the city of Plovdiv. The hybrid is resistant to diseases, has a very high concentration of sugar and is also very tasty, experts claim. The first batch of seedlings for planting will be released on the market as early as the next autumn. In the meantime both traders and collectors from the entire Europe show interest towards the unusual fruit and those want to include it in its selection programs.

The Stanley plum and the Modesto apricot – those are the so-called parents of the new Stendesto species. The nice hybrid has inherited the minerals and vitamins of its primary sources, so it is tasty, but also healthy. The color of the new fruit is dark purple and its form is elongated, just like the one of the plum. On the other hand, it is covered with tender moss and is sweet-scented, just like the apricot. The trees give yield after the 3rd year after their planting and the fruits ripen in the beginning of August. “However, the most interesting part is that the fruit is a result, contradicting to all rules of genetics,” Director of the FGI Associate Prof. Argir Zhivondov is proud to sayл

“There are 48 chromosomes in the common plum, while the apricot has only 16, i.e. their number in the first fruit is threefold on the second", Zhivondov further explains. "Genetics says that in this situation a hybrid cannot be created with these two. However, it worked out! Thus we created a new botanical species, combining plum and apricot. By the way, such hybrids can be observed sometime in nature too, not only in laboratories.”

The new species was created through the classical method of so-called copulative hybridization, i.e. the bloom from the apricot was placed on the stigmas of the plum’s blossoms. However, Stendesto is not genetically modified! “The artificial part was only the pollination process – the plum decided on its own whether to accept the pollen of the apricot, or not. And it accepted it, thus allowing the crossbreeding process to take place,” Associate Prof. Zhivondov is glad to say.

The main advantage of Stendesto is its proven resistance, regarding the dangerous plum pox disease, which is the worst pest for the plum and also for the apricot. It also causes serious agricultural damages. The new fruit has natural immunization and is not endangered. However, it is a bit smaller than its American foster-brother, but its scent is stronger, the creators claim. Besides that the American hybrid is the result from the crossbreeding of Japanese plum and apricot. Each of these fruits has 16 chromosomes, i.e. both fruits are totally genetically compatible, unlike the Bulgarian Stendesto. “This is the more difficult option due to the serious chromosome disproportion,” Associate Prof. Zhivondov praises. Experts claim on the other hand that the Bulgarian plumcot is tastier and more aromatic. The concentration of sugar in our fruit is 17 percent, which makes it perfect for the making of the traditional rakiya brandy. The new fruit is also suitable for the making of all kinds of jams that are also something quite popular on the table of the Bulgarians. Stendesto is expected to become a sensation on the market, both in this country and abroad.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev
По публикацията работи: Veneta Nikolova
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