Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/27/2013
Publication Date: 3/19/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58607
Citation: Bell, R.L., Castagnoli, S., Einhorn, T., Turner, J., Spotts, R., Moulton, G. 2014. 'Gem' pear. HortScience. 49(3):361-363. Interpretive Summary: Replanting of new pear orchards is inhibited by the long period of tree growth during which little or no fruit is produced, often four to six years. This delay results in an unacceptable period of no income from the new planting. In addition, pear fruit consumption is limited by the period of time necessary for fruit to ripen to a soft texture. Pear consumption might be increased if the fruit could be eaten with a crisp but juicy texture. The new ‘Gem’ pear variety was selected for its very early fruit bearing, high yields, and storage life of five months, traits of importance to growers and wholesalers, and because of its flavor, texture, and attractive appearance, traits of importance to the consumer. It is unique in that it can be eaten as a crisp fruit shortly after harvest with minimal cold storage, or after a period of two months of cold storage, as a soft-textured fruit. The early fruit bearing will provide rapid income to the growers, enhancing the economic sustainability of their enterprises. The unique fruit texture trait will provide the consumer with a new eating experience, potentially enhancing pear fruit consumption; and therefore, also enhancing the economic sustainability of the pear industry.
Technical Abstract: ‘Gem’ is a new cultivar which combines excellent appearance, fruit quality and long storage potential with precocious and high yields. It can be eaten without ripening due to a crisp, juicy texture, as well as ripened to a soft texture. ‘Gem’ was jointly released by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, and Clemson University in 2013.