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In a paper published in the online advance of Nature Genetics this week, an international research team reports a draft sequence of the domestic apple genome. "We show that a relatively recent (>50 million years ago) genome-wide duplication has resulted in the transition from nine ancestral chromosomes to 17 chromosomes in the Pyreae," the authors write. The team suggests that in apple, MADS-box genes — involved in flower and fruit development — include 15 members.

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