YEREVAN. - Institute of Botany of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia and Berlin Botanical Garden are studying the varieties of wild pears of Armenia. Doctor of Bioscience, leading fellow at the Institute, Zhanna Hakobyan, told Armenian News – NEWS.am that the program is scheduled for 2015-2018.
The Caucasian region—and particularly Armenia—is one of the world centers of population of wild pears: out of the 60 varieties existing in the world, nearly 35 were found here at different times. They have quite different form of leaves (leaves of different forms grow on the trees of certain varieties) and size of fruit (for instance, the Takhtajyan pears are 4-5 cm across and are used in food).
The Armenian scientists gather them from all the regions of the republic and plant them in the Yerevan Botanical Garden to study their structure (morphology of leaves and other parts) on the ground, while the Germans analyze the DNA of these trees, having relevant equipment.
The joint work will help re-check the classification of the varieties of wild pears, as well as their evolution, since their different varieties hybridize between themselves quite easily and change their genetics. In Armenia separate varieties emerge even faster first of all because of landscape obstacles and also because the local population has been breeding local varieties of pears since long ago. Their seeds fell into the nature and “were cooked” in the general “pear compote” of gene pool. Due to these local peculiarities, over dozens of wild pears growing in Armenia are endemic (can be found only here).