Finding a good pear can be a frustrating process, and represents a long-standing problem for the US pear industry, which has been stagnant for decades. Amit Dhingra, a horticultural genomicist from Washington State University, thinks the industry is ripe for innovation.
In this episode of Talking Biotech, Dhingra explains the roots of pear domestication, why we see so few varieties of pears, and efforts to improve the surprisingly nutritious fruit. (The pear has superior health benefits to apples, including higher fiber content and a lower glycemic index.) Dhingra is working with Washington farmers to develop pears that use less water, ripen more consistently, and have a longer shelf life. He believes reliably tasty pre-sliced pears could jumpstart the pear industry.
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