Undergrad Student summer research project


Why did Callery pear escape?

New project, new peeps

This Spring/Summer, I was fortunate to come up with an attractive research idea. We want, in a very simple way, to try explain how P. calleryana was able to escape cultivation.

As other species of the rose family, Callery pear is self-incomaptible. This means that the pollen of a given tree will not result in a fruit with viable seed on that same tree.

To genotype the historical (confirmed) and the current specimens of cultivated P. calleryana, we tapped the preserved (herbaria) and live plant collections (arboreta). We also used our previously collected specimens, see the picture below. We will use the genotyping system established for many other pear species, including PCR, gel fragment analysis, sequencing, and downstream analytics.

UT Office of Undergraduate Research gave us a nice financial starting push for this research, and we found a great incumbent to work on this. Very exciting!!!

More soon, as the project progresses.