David Hunter

David Hunter
Adjunct Professor



B.Sc. Agriculture, Nottingham (England);
M.Sc. Plant Physiology, Brock University;
Ph.D. Horticulture, University of Guelph





Tree Fruit Breeding; Research Scientist, Tree Fruits - Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada

Pear breeding for improved fire blight resistance

The development of fire blight-resistant pear selections and cultivars, through an integration of traditional breeding and biotechnology, is the long-term objective for a sustainable alternative to chemical dependency for the control of this serious bacterial disease. Fire blight, caused by Erwinia amylovora, is the major constraint to increased pear production in Ontario. The only registered chemical for fire blight control, streptomycin, is currently under review, and its pending loss of registration will put additional pressures on pear producers, especially those growing fire blight-susceptible cultivars. Orchard management practices also have the potential for reducing the impact of this disease on fire blight-susceptible cultivars, while the introduction of new cultivars necessitates an evaluation of orchard management practices, including rootstocks and pruning and training systems, in order to optimize production.


Relevant Links:

Selected Publications:

Hunter, D.M. and C.A. Collucci. (2008). Observations on rodent feeding damage to pear germplasm in cold storage. Journal of the American Pomological Society. 62: 38-40.

Ghosh, A.K., L.N. Lukens, D.M. Hunter and J.N. Strommer. (2006). European and Asian pears: simple sequence repeat and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis-based analysis of commercially important North American cultivars. HortScience. 41: 304-309.

Hunter, D.M. and M.F. Gadsby. (2005). Relocating large trees for germplasm conservation in tree fruit breeding programs. HortTechnology. 15: 136-139.

Afunian, M.R., P.H. Goodwin and D.M. Hunter. (2004). Linkage of Vfa4 in Malus x domestica and Malus floribunda with Vf resistance to the apple scab pathogen Venturia inaequalis. Plant Pathology. 53: 462-467.

Layne, R.E.C. and D.M. Hunter. (2003). ‘AC Haroblush’ apricot. HortScience. 38:142-143.

Layne, R.E.C. and D.M. Hunter. (2003). ‘AC Harojoy’ apricot. HortScience. 38: 138-139.

Layne, R.E.C. and D.M. Hunter. (2003). ‘AC Harostar’ apricot. HortScience. 38: 140-141.