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June 16, 2005

The Fruit Blog Google Queries, part 1

Every day, attempting to avoid either real work or writing actual posts, I check in on the counter for this site and see what the traffic's like. In addition to checking the volume (generally fairly low, unless I've been linked to somewhere exciting and high-profile), I also look to see if any one using obscure browsers or operating systems has stopped by (I got some one using LYNX the other day!). I also like to look at the referrers, and I'm always curious just what Google searches bring people here. I've also noticed that an awful lot of them seem to be looking for answers to specific questions, and I thought maybe I'd occasionally try and answer a bunch of them with a post like this one. The following represent the most recent Google searches to lead to The Fruit Blog:

where can I buy medlars
I love how some people type actual questions into search engines, as if Google will take the "where" part of the sentence and display only pages which contain locations or something. It doesn't seem to work any worse than just typing in the relevant words in most cases, though, so I guess if it makes people happy, they might as well do it.

There have actually been a number of variants on this, and hopefully most of them found a satisfactory answer in my medlar post.

mutation breeding and seedlessness in tangerines
I'm not as up on citrus as I should probably be, living where I do (my temperate climate upbringing didn't allow for a lot of contact with citrus plants). I do know that Fred Gmitter, at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Extension Center in Lake Alfred, Florida, has been doing work with mutation breeding, with seedlessness as a major goal, though I don't know how successful it's been or whether tangerines specifically have been targeted. I believe most seedless tangerines (such as 'Clementine') are that way not because they are incapable of forming seeds, but because they are self-incompatible, and so in the absence of outside pollen are unable to form seeds. Other seedless citrus are unable to form viable seeds because of ploidy issues, for example the triploid mandarins 'Shasta Gold', 'Tahoe Gold', and 'Yosemite Gold'. Seedless mutations in citrus are not unheard of, though: 'Jackson' grapefruit is a seedless sport of 'Triumph', and 'Cecily' is a seedless mutation of 'Walters', though off the top of my head I can't think of any examples from intentionally induced mutations. Mutations can also go the other way, as 'Marsh' seedless grapefruit has on several occasions produced seeded sports.

medlar pears
I'm not sure how to answer this one. Um, yes?

singapore "eriobotrya japonica" buy
I interpreted this as "Where can I buy loquats in Singapore?" The answer to that is "I don't know". I don't know where to buy anything in Singapore, really. There don't appear to be any nurseries there that carry loquats (that I could find), nor could I find any indication of what sort of fruits they had in the grocery stores. I did, however, discover that there are lots and lots of places like this, which carry loquat leaves. Apparently loquat leaves (like everything else on earth) are employed in oriental medicine. It seems you can treat stomach and lung problems with it. And, according to the site, it's "Cool". (If anybody knows anything about buying actual loquats, trees or fruit, in Singapore, feel free to post it here or e-mail me.)

identifying comice pears
'Comice' pears are actually fairly distinct. They've got a shorter "neck" than most other cultivars and tend towards the extreme large end of the spectrum, with green skin with a little blush on one side, although I've seen some which are pretty reddish which are a distinct sport, I believe. When ripe they are very sweet, soft, and juicy. Many (but not all) of the pears in gift boxes are 'Comice'. It's also known as 'Doyenne du Comice', and it originated in France about 200 years ago. (The easiest answer to this problem is a picture, and so I'll put one as the "Fruit Image of the Day".

medlars fruit nutritional
You would not believe the number of medlar searches I get. I probably increased traffic 20% simply by posting on medlars. Strangely, there isn't a whole lot of information out there on the nutritioinal value of medlars. I was hoping to get more specific, but all I could find is that they are good sources of vitamins A and C, calcium, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus. Not surprising, considering its relatives.

wickson apple
There are two ways this could be interpreted: a query about Edward Wickson's work with apples, or about the 'Wickson' apple. Edward Wickson was a prominent horticulturist in California at the turn of the century, and author of California Fruits. (You can read about both book and man in my earlier post here.)

The 'Wickson' apple was not in fact the product of Edward Wickson. Instead it was named in his honor by his friend, the plant breeder Albert Etter. Though probably intended as a cider apple, the 'Wickson' apple turned out to be of decent eating quality, too, though its small size probably doomed it to obscurity. It is tart, with some unusual aromatic and spicy qualities. Albert Etter was a northern California breeder who worked mostly during the first half of this century, making his largest impact in apples and strawberries. While few of his varieties were successful during his lifetime, his strawberries form a substantial part of the background of today's California cultivars, and a number of his apples, many with an unusual red flesh trait, have been experiencing something of a resurgence during the current interest in a heirloom apples.

banana ploidy triploid "high school"
I thought I was following this one until the end there. Any idea what they were going for here? Yes, the standard grocery store banana is triploid...that's why it has no seeds. It's also why it's a big pain to breed bananas, because you can't go use the major cultivars as breeding stock.

I suppose maybe they're one of the few triploid organisms routinely found in high schools, in addition to triploid apples?

Anyway, that's all the Google queries there are in the small referrer log my cheap counter site keeps for me. Hopefully I've answered somebody's question, and they actually happen back here to find it. Of course, if you've got a question I can answer, it's always easier to just ask, rather than making me guess at your Google query!


At 6/30/2005 03:11:00 PM, Blogger Mendel's Garden said...

EFL ---
Go here: http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html.

Click on "advanced"

Search on this sequence:
"spec/seedless and spec/mutation and spec/citrus".

Down in the list, you'll find a reference to the development of a seedless mandarin by mutation breeding. Look for KEDAC.

I've also been told that the Ruby Red series of grapefruit cvs was the result of mutation breeding. TX, I believe.

Fr. GM

At 6/30/2005 07:37:00 PM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

Did you mean KEDEM? I don't see a KEDAC.

This link will probably never work here, but I'll try:
KEDEM Mandarin patent
If that doesn't work, it's going to be a mess. But it's my blog, I suppose I can ugly it up all I want.

Interestingly, though the mandarin in question is apparently the product of mutation breeding for seedlessness, it itself is not seedless.

'Ruby Red' was a limb sport (resulting from spontaneous mutation) of 'Thompson Pink', I believe, though I think further mutation breeding in Texas using 'Ruby Red' resulted in other cultivars.

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