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An Apple with a Split Personality

Ken Morrish of Colaton Raleigh, Devon, England picked a bizarre Red Delicious apple off his tree. It looks as if someone stuck together half of a green apple and half of a red apple, but these colors are natural.
John Breach, chairman of the British Independent Fruit Growers Association, said: 'I've never seen this happen before to a Golden Delicious. It is extremely rare. It is an extreme mutation.

'There has been the occasional case of this type reported. If there was a whole branch of apples with the same colouring then fruit experts would get even more excited.'

Jim Arbury, fruit superintendent at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, said it was probably the 'result of a random genetic mutation'.

'This is known as a chimera where one of the first two cells has developed differently giving rise to one half of the apple being different,' he said.

Morrish is keeping the apple in his refrigerator because so many people want to see it. Link -via J-Walk Blog

(image credit: Archant Devon)

Chimerism happens in people, very rarely. Two eggs get fertilized, begin to divide, then come in contact with each other and merge. Most of the time, you'd never know they were a chimera, unless the two were different shades, or genders. It happens more often in test tube babies.
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Cool. One of my roses did this once - I have a pale pink rose that produced a flower with one petal that was half normal, half bright pink. Now I know why. And yes, the division was in a straight line, exactly like that apple. Too bad there's no way to make it happen predictably, I'd love to see a flower with all split petals like that.
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I took the following picture at Keukenhof in Holland. It is a bi-colored lily. I've seen them with individual different colored petals but never with one petal split down the middle.

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=219388084&albumID=762530&imageID=9098351
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My dad had an orchard and he's found a few of these apples. If you know what branch it came from then you could, in theory, graft it onto other trees to make lots of multi-colored apples.
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Halieus, I was glad to see your post because the one in a million claim about this apple is (as far as I know) not factually true. I managed several different produce departments over a 16 year period, and I did occasionally run across apples exactly like this. I even remember placing one or more exactly on the dividing line between the red delicious and gold delicious displays.
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