US researchers discover apple previously thought extinct

In the late 1800’s, the Colorado Orange is a popular variety of apple. It has a yellow peel with an orange blush and a distinctively more oval in shape than any other apple.

Over the past two decades, apple preservationists Jude and Addie Schuenemeyer were able to identify more than a thousand variety of apples that once grew in Colorado. 

Recently, they announced that they have found a rare type of apple assumed to be the Colorado Orange apple. The announcement was followed by a visit to the  Colorado State University, where the suspected orange apple they have found will be matched with a wax cast of that rare type made more than centuries ago.

In their continuing search for the rare orange apple, they experienced some struggles like having thought that they already found one, except it turned out to be a York Imperial and not Colorado Orange.

Later on, they were able to locate the fruit in Fremont County. The couple found a decimated tree and they were able to gather enough apples for samples.

The DNA of the apples Schuenemeyer have found turned out to be “unique unknown” and didn’t match any other known apples in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) apple collection.

However, there was no Colorado apple in the collection which they could use for comparison.  What Jude and Addie did was to compare the rare apple to a painting of Colorado Orange that were made by the USDA artists in the early 1900’s. Every characteristic of the rare apple matched with the one painted.

At the CSU, through the casted wax made centuries ago, it was declared that the Colorado Orange apple has moved off the extinct list with 98% certainty.

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