New variety development in pears has recently been added to OSF’s work plan. Our company has platform technologies that can be applied to pears, and we have the transformation know-how in place to facilitate the effective use of precision breeding in pears.
Our first product focus is on PPO inhibition in popular pear varieties (Bartlett, Anjou and Bosc). This will mirror work completed in the development of the nonbrowning apple, and a nonbrowning pear will offer similar grower, processor and consumer benefits.
As work in fire blight resistance progresses in apples, this trait will be added to the pear variety development program as well.
Industry has shown considerable interest in pioneering dwarfing of pear trees and/or pear rootstocks. Breeders have made some progress in developing of new pear rootstocks using conventional breeding, and we feel we could help advance this effort. Tree architecture is also of interest to the industry; we have been examining partnership opportunities to look into new growth habit, vigor management and tree canopy structure in pears.