Japanese innovations with apples

Allen Adler adler at pulsar.wku.edu
Tue Apr 2 00:49:01 EST 1996

On Japan Today this evening, they mentioned the work of someone
named Saito in Japan who has developed techniques for breeding
new strains of apples more quickly. I didn't see the whole thing
but one of the features seems to be that they sample a small part
of a young apple plant, perhaps just germinating, and put some cells
from it in a solution with a certain enzyme that dissolves the 
cell wall leaving the cells themselves intact. Apparently this
makes it easier for the cells to divide until the results become
visible even to the naked eye. I guess they are talking about
a culture of liberated apple cells. Then they take new samples
of these.

I would like to read the details of how one does such things.
If my incoherent description of what was done makes sense to
you, perhaps you can refer me to some relevant sources in
the literature. One thing I don't understand is how one breeds
the new strains, since I don't think that Saito is doing any
direct manipulation of the DNA of the cells. But the techniques
for dissolving cell walls and maintaining the culture are also
unfamiliar to me. For example, what enzyme would one use?

If you know where Saito has published his stuff in English,
that would also be good to know.

Allan Adler
adler at pulsar.cs.wku.edu

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