[NAFEX] developing hardy trees

Jwlehman at aol.com Jwlehman at aol.com
Sun Oct 25 00:59:06 EDT 2009


In a message dated 10/23/2009 11:07:46 AM Central Daylight Time, 
cookfrenchlick at yahoo.com writes:

> I'm under the impression that trying to develop a plant that is at least 
> cold hardy to one more zone,in a backyard venture is like hitting the 
> Lotto.  I have read that it takes a planting of several hundred seedlings and 
> then you may not get fruit quality 

Hi Larry,

You are correct. It has been my meager experience that when breeding it 
seems that the worst characteristics come out. But breeding is a numbers game 
and the breeder must be persistent. 

Lon can correct me if I'm far off.  But if you are breeding to bring three 
characteristics together that is controlled by three genes each, 
mathematically you would need to make 243 crosses to recombine the best genes in one 
progeny. But in practice it could be much larger.  Have you ever seen Roger 
Way's picture of 100 apples variations from 100 seedlings of the same parents? 
 Here it is. 




Now make the cross to maintain quality and improve cold hardiness. The 
required number raises very fast. I believe if hardness were better in 1 in a 
hundred to get both together would be 100 X 100 or 10,000. And then the 
improvement would likely not be enough to increase hardiness by one whole zone.  
Yes, your chances with Lotto might be better. 

Sticking my neck out,

Jerry



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