Why do so many fruits have seedless varieties but the apple and cherry do not?


Why do so many fruits have seedless varieties but the apple and cherry do not?

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10 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s very difficult to cultivate a seedless fruit. Even if by magic you could acquire a bushel of seedless apples… how to you make more? Plant the seeds?

The (relatively small, actually) number of seedless fruits thus require some genetic and/or agricultural trickery to create. Seedless oranges come from grafting branches from one solitary mutant orange tree onto donor trees that would otherwise grow seeded oranges. Seedless watermelon are grown by cross-breeding two strains that are sterile when combined.

Anonymous 0 Comments

So fun fact, they did just discover a variety of seedless apples very recently. Not sure if they are marketable, but it’s a “thing”.

The difference here is some fruit can do something called “parthenocarpy”, it basically means the plant will produce flowers that *aren’t* fertilized and will still grow into fruit. The resulting fruit, since it wasn’t fertilized, will lack the reproductive seeds.

It turns out some plants do this and those are our seedless fruits mostly.

Some plants, like apple trees, *don’t* do this, so we don’t get seedless apples.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Stone fruit, like cherries, would have nothing to maintain the shape and firmness of the fruit, so a seedless variant would likely not survive to be propagated.

As for apples, I’m sure that if a seedless variant were to appear, it would be propogated

Anonymous 0 Comments

We do, in fact, have some varieties of seedless apples. They just aren’t very popular. There are two main problems:

First, even if the apple is seedless, it’s still going to have a core, and people still aren’t going to want to eat the core. So making it seedless isn’t super profitable. (This problem is even more pronounced in cherries: it’s not the seed that people object to, but rather the stone around the seed.)

Second, apples are notoriously hard to breed. The children are nothing like their parents. Basically each tree we plant is a new roll of the dice. The odds that a mutant seedless apple will *also* have other desirable properties like “has at least a hint of sweetness” and “is not a crabapple” are low.

I think the Romans might have had a decent seedless apple at one point, but, if so, it went the way of the *silphium*.

Anonymous 0 Comments


Anonymous 0 Comments

In an apple, making it seedless wouldn’t change the overall shape much- the different texture that signifies the core would still be there- and people have been trained to not eat the ‘core’. In cherries, it’s already a expensive to pick such small fruits, removing the stone would make them even smaller, increasing the cost to harvest.

I adore UFO’s (stoneless peaches) and would absolutely love to have a stoneless cherry tree in my yard! Not commercially viable but a fun oddball plant for gardeners.

Anonymous 0 Comments

What are seeds? They are the babies of the plant.

What is fruit? It’s how the plant disperses its seeds.

What is a seedless fruit plant? Sterile. It can’t distribute its babies.

How do you make more seedless fruit plants? You clone them.

What is the disadvantage of clones? They don’t change.

What happens to plants that don’t change? Something that does change evolves to exploit them.

Yes, all naval orange plants are clones.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I was reading recently about a company that is working on a seedless cherry developed via CRISPR.


Anonymous 0 Comments

I don’t think there are any stone fruit that have seedless varieties. Cherry, avocado, peach, etc. Seedless watermelon they create a hybrid of two different watermelon. Like a mule, these hybrids are sterile and only have malformed seeds if any. Pluots are a hybrid and you’ll notice that they still have a stone… but sometimes it’s only half there or not properly formed. Even seedless oranges can have the odd seed. How they make something seedless depends on how the fruit reproduces and sometimes sterility doesn’t yield the desired results if creating sterile fruit is even a realistic process.

Bananas aren’t seedless, nor strawberries (I know they’re not actually the seeds), nor raspberries… most berries if not all don’t have seedless varieties. Some fruit has seedless varieties but the vast majority of the fruit we cultivate isn’t seedless.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In grapes, mandarins and watermelons there’s not much you can eat from the fruit where you’re sure to not get any seeds. So getting rid of the seeds is a big improvement.

With apples, most of the fruit is never going to have a seed and you can just munch carefree until you get to the core. Same with other types of melons that have their seeds all in the middle. It’s so easy to scoop them out that developing seedless varieties isn’t worth it.

Developing new apple varieties is also a slow process. It takes up to 8 years for an apple tree to bear first fruit so you can find out if whatever you’ve created tastes any good.

There are also a variety of ways that seedless fruits are created. With grapes they manipulate the plant into making a fruit without seeds but those tend to lack the hormone needed to make the fruit grow to its normal size. Applied to apples you might get seedless apples but only of the size of apricots or so. And again, you have to wait up to 8 years to find out.

With melons they have two fields of different “parent” melons that when you put the pollen of one type on the flowers of the other the resulting fruit can’t make seeds. Which is a tricky but doable for large fruits like watermelons. Doing that for a whole apple tree is much more effort (if that’s the road that would need to be taken).

TLDR: It’s a LOT of work for an uncertain amount of benefit.