4 Oct 2012

Scientists investigate genetics of pears

6:30 am on 4 October 2012

Plant & Food scientists are hoping that knowledge gained from investigating the genetic make up of pears will speed up the process of breeding new varieties of the fruit.

A New Zealand team worked with Italian scientists to sequence the European pear genome.

Principal scientist Andy Allan says they've found some interesting DNA differences between pears and apples.

He says pear has a lot more variety of flavour, colour and texture than apple.

But Associate Professor Allan says the biggest challenge may be changing the shape and size of pear trees to make the crops easier to pick.