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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The USDA Pear Collection

Author
item Hummer, Kim

Submitted to: American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta The Public Garden
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Records of pear cultivation date back 3,000 years both in Europe and in Asia. Hundreds of pear cultivars were named and described from 1500 to 1800. The pear genetic resource collection for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System is located at a repository in Corvallis, Oregon. More than 1500 unique pear accessions are maintained from 26 species from around the world The collection includes more than 410 heirloom cultivars which are more than 50 years old. Pears are maintained in a five acre orchard. These trees are tested for viruses, examined for correct identity and evaluated for horticultural traits. Wild species are kept as seed in a freezer, and by seedling trees in the orchard. Additional plants are maintained in tissue culture plants and cryogenic preservation. The Corvallis Repository welcomes visitors during normal working days. Plant material can be ordered for research and evaluation from the Curator, USDA-ARS, 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis, OR 97333.

Technical Abstract: Records of pear cultivation date to 1,000 B.C. in Europe and in Asia. Hundreds of pear cultivars wee named and described from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The pear genetic resource collection for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System is located at a repository in Corvallis, Oregon. This repository preserves more than 1500 highly diverse pear accessions, represents the 26 world species, and includes more than 410 heirloom cultivars which are more than 50 years old. Pears are maintained in a five acre orchard. These trees are tested for viruses, examined for correct taxonomy and nomenclature and evaluated for horticultural traits. Wild species are preserved as seed stored at -20oC, and by seedling trees in the orchard. On-site back-up plants are maintained as cold-stored scionwood or tissue culture plants and as cryogenically preserved meristems. The Corvallis Repository welcomes visitors during normal working days. Plant material is available for research and evaluation from the Curator, USDA-ARS, 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis, OR 97333.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014