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Modern grapefruit?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Do you know if this grapefruit was genetically modified?

 

I didn't really look at it in the store, just put the grapefruit in the cart. When I got home I saw that it's Sunkist brand and it says "NOT your MOTHER's Grapefruit

The Health and Beauty of the Modern Grapefuit

Star Ruby"

 

I'm asking if you know if it was genetically modified because I only saw one or two seeds in each grapefruit, if any.

post #2 of 6

I am almost positive that the grapefruit we buy in stores has not been genetically modified.  The main crops that have been (like soy and corn) are huge cash crops.  They are working on GMO wheat right now, but it is not widespread.  Grapefruit is not even an extremely popular fruit, so I bet you don't need to worry about it.  I would imagine that "modern grapefruit" refers to a hybridized rather than a GMO plant. 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you dovey!

 

I don't know much about it, but I'm hoping that it's possible to make seedless grapefruit that is hybridized without being GMO as you said. (Not that I mind the lack of seeds but it doesn't seem natural!)

post #4 of 6

Often seedless fruits started out as an anomaly and someone thought to take either root or stem cuttings to naturally "clone" the plant. That's how seedless oranges are grown, all Navel Oranges are from one stem cutting made from an anomalous fruit tree about 100 years back. Same with seedless grapes and other seedless fruits.

 

Seedless watermelons are very different, using diploid and triploid and  tetraploid. chromosome make up. The tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes) are crossed with dipiod plants (two sets) resulting in triploid plants.  These tripliods are producing a plant that cannot fertilize its own ovum. Triploids have 3 sets of chromosomes so having a odd number of chromosomes, no alignment can take place and the "eggs" (seeds inside the fruit) cannot produce offspring and are thus sterile.  Pollinator plants need to be close by (from a seeded variety)  to fertilize the flowers so they will turn into fruit, but they leave their own genetic make up behind and a few sterile seeds are always found in seedless watermelon. It's not modern GMO by a long shot, this process for watermelons was done more than 50 years ago, in a pretty low tech nursery.

 

My guess is that these grapefruits are simply from the stem cutting type. Like someone else said before, grapefruits are not a huge cash crop and don't attract GMO research like soy beans and other cash crops seem to.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you Maggie! That's the kind of informed answer I was looking for.

post #6 of 6

thank you for the information on seedless grapes

we were in the UK in the summer and hadn't had any for 5 years so my kids started asking questions after being presented with some

(they don't sell seedless grapes in France)

.... and i had no idea what to reply (AND started worrying about GMO ....)

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