Good Fruit Grower

December 2013

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Old Home x Bartlett? Genetic fingerprinting reveals a case of mistaken identity. by Geraldine Warner ld Home x Farmingdale pear rootstocks, which have been widely used by the U.S. pear industry for many years, should actually be called Old Home x Bartlett, it turns out. Genetic fingerprinting done at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon, revealed that it is impossible for Farmingdale to be the pollen parent of any of the several OHxF rootstocks tested. This prompted Joseph Postman, curator of the repository, to retrace the story behind the OHxF rootstocks. It begins a century ago when Oregon State University pomologist Frank Reimer began scouring the world for pear germplasm with resistance to fireblight, a disease that had made its first appearance in Oregon's Rogue River Valley in 1906. Reimer was the first superintendent of the OSU Southern Oregon Experiment Station near Medford. Two of his most important discoveries came from a 1915 visit with fruit grower Benjamin Buckman in Farmingdale, Illinois. One was the cultivar Farmingdale, an open-pollinated seedling that Buckman had found near a d'Anjou pear tree on his farm. The other was Old Home, a seedling that had come from a nursery in Illinois some O Frank Reimer's search for fireblight-resistant pears took him to China in 1919. years earlier. Both these trees were completely free of fireblight. Reimer took scion wood of Old Home back to the Southern Oregon Experiment Station and had Farmingdale scions sent to him several years later. After more than a decade of testing the many pear species in OSU's collection, Reimer found only three European cultivars—Farmingdale, Longworth, and Old Home—that had excellent blight resistance when used as trunk stocks. Joseph Postman Protecting the fruits of your labor Commercial Insurance from Kibble & Prentice You deserve an insurance broker who works as hard as you do. Let the professionals at Kibble & Prentice hand pick the right solutions for your business, and help you generate fresh ideas. We are skilled at addressing all risks associated with growing, packing and distributing your product. Contact us to get started! 800.767.0650 Commercial Insurance · Employee Benefits · Succession Planning · Retirement Plan Services · Private Client Services 76 DECEMBER 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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