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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: 'old Home' and 'farmingdale,' the Romeo and Juliet of Pear Rootstocks: An Historical Perspective

Author
item Hummer, Kim

Submitted to: Fruit Varieties Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Professor F. C. Reimer searched for a high quality pear rootstock in the early part of the 20th century. He obtained two fire blight-resistant clones of Pyrus communis L., 'Old Home' and 'Farmingdale' from Illinois. These two clones became a "Romeo and Juliet" of pear rootstocks producing the 'Old Home x Farmingdale' series. In the United States the names and numbers of this series have been trademarked and several clones were patented. Three generations later, 'Old Home' continues to be used as a parental source of pear fire blight and decline-resistant genes in rootstock and cultivar breeding programs in the United States, Canada, France, England and Germany.

Technical Abstract: The search for a high quality pear rootstock was begun by Professor F. C. Reimer in the early part of the 20th century. He obtained two fire blight- resistant clones of Pyrus communis L., 'Old Home' and 'Farmingdale' from Illinois. These two clones became a "Romeo and Juliet" of pear rootstocks producing the 'Old Home x Farmingdale' series. In the United States the names and numbers of this series have been trademarked and several clones were patented. Three generations later, 'Old Home' continues to be used as a parental source of pear fire blight and decline-resistant genes in rootstock and cultivar breeding programs in the United States, Canada, France, England, and Germany.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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