According to Frontiers in Plant Science, Robert Spengler, an archaeologist of the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, combines archaeological findings with historical data, paleontological and genetic data to obtain a calendar picture. Complete history of the formation of domesticated apple trees , one of the most familiar species of humankind, started from the Miocene.
Fossil and genetic data show that large apples have grown several million years before humans began to cultivate. After the end of the last ice age, wild wild apple populations were isolated due to the extinction of a large proportion of megafauna until humans began planting them.
For millennia, humanity has supported the development of populations of wild apples.
Archaeological excavations show that humans began collecting wild apples throughout European and Western Asian territories more than 10,000 years ago . It is clear that for many millennia, humanity has supported the development of populations of wild apples. However, until now, the domestication process for these trees is still unclear.
Homeland of apple domestication is the territory of modern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Archaeological relics of preserved tree and fruit, apple seeds have been found on roads throughout Europe and Asia.
Genetic studies show that modern apples are hybrids of at least four wild apples from different parts of the Eurasian continent. The remaining breeding of apple trees is done by bees and other pollinators. Perhaps, large fruit hybrids have attracted the attention of their breeders by grafting and planting cuttings.
Thus, the apples that we enjoy today do not appear in the breeding process, but because of natural breeding and development .