This post comes to me from Reddit, where a man found out that the apple seeds inside of his apple had begun to sprout!
This is very interesting! This is very much a “defective” seed, as, unfortunately, the apple would have no chance of being able to survive inside of its own fruit.
Most fruits have evolved to be eaten! That said, they aren’t meant to be entirely digested. It is in the fruit’s best interest to provide as little nutrition as possible while still being attractive to the thing that eats it. Most fruits include a laxative to ensure that the seed (which houses precious nutrients) passes through the animal’s digestive tract unharmed. Some berries and fruits can pass through a bird’s digestive tract in under half an hour!
Why is that? Well, it wouldn’t be good for the plant to have its fruit eaten and get nothing out of it!
The reason your apple seed may have developed inside the apple could be due to a variety of reasons. Temperature may have been right. Oxygen may have gotten in. Could have accumulated water somehow.
It may have been rubbed against something and had its seed coat damaged in some way. For many plants, etching of the seed coat can bring about germination. These techniques fall under a poorly understood part of biology which is called “seed dormancy.” Other seeds require temperature differences, for example, some apples require winter frost in order to grow correctly. Some plants, like certain conifers, require fire to melt the resin on their pinecones to release and scorch the seeds before they can germinate! Mercy!
Some seeds are chemically damaged by stomach acids, which “alerts” the seed that it has passed through the digestive tract of an animal and now is likely surrounded by nitrogenous wastes (in the form of urine or feces). For your little apple seed, though, there isn’t much of a chance. The seed houses nutrients that allow the cotyledon (the first “leaves” of a germinating plant) to reach out, even in darkness; however, this is just a kick start.
Thinking about this more, if there were no physical damage to the apple, there may have been a hormone imbalance. Abscisic acid prevents seed germination and typically builds up in fruits as they mature, so its possible that this particular fruit may have had abscisic acid deficiency or a giberellin overproduction!
Without the sun, the plant will obviously not survive, having quickly run out of energy held within the seed.
Additionally, do remember that most apples sold commercially are grafted, so if you were to plant that seed and have it survive, the apples you would potentially get would not necessarily be the apple that it came from!
This fact is also why Johnny Appleseed planted a bunch of worthless apples that no one wanted to eat. He probably made some cider, I guess.