[Market-farming] Intentionally crossing tomatoes

logrock logrock at bellsouth.net
Thu Feb 10 23:30:58 EST 2005


Marlin,

Have you checked the tomato forum on GardenWeb?  Some real experts on
that site, and it is pretty entertaining at times to boot!

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/tomato/

I did a search for "Cross Pollination" and got a few hits, one that
recommends a book by Carol Deppe "Breeding Your Own Vegetable Varieties"

And Paul, one on the posters says this:

"After a successful cross, you will have an F1 hybrid. If the cross was
clean, each and every plant from that cross will be identical. That is
basically what the seed companies are selling as "hybrids". 

If you save seeds from your F1 plants you will have F2 seeds. Here is
where it gets fun. 

When you growout the F2's, the genes reorganize themselves (segregation)
and you will get various types of fruit. Some will look like the mother
of the F1, some will look like the father of the F1, many will be
mixtures of the mother and the father."

Good luck, and let us know when you will have some seed for sell! 

Patty

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Marlin
Burkholder
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 11:13 PM
To: Market Farming
Subject: [Market-farming] Intentionally crossing tomatoes

For the past number of years I have had unintended cross pollination of
some
of my tomato varieties, most frequently occuring with pototo leafed
varieties like "Brandywine" and some of the cherry tomatoes.  I always
thought that it only appeared that way because the effects of these
crossings are more easily observed when one starts seeing potato leafed
off
types among his non potato leafed transplants or when something besides
cherry tomatos start appearing on the cherry tomato plants.  Then I
learned
last year that crosses do indeed occur more more frequently among potato
leaf and cherry varieties because they are more primative and have
differences in stamen or pistol lengths (I don't remember which) with
those
of more modern varieties which renders them more susceptable to
crossing.

Well anyway, now I am thinking of trying to intentionally cross two
varieties that I like a lot, but both have highly contrasting positive
and
negative characteristics I would like to combine in hopes of ending up
with
a new variety that would minimize the weaknesses of both of them and
combine
the best of both of the parent varieties.  These are the two varieties:

* Blosser-- a large pink beefsteak slicing type.  Strengths are it's
relatively good yield of smooth well shaped fruits with a moderate sized
stem core compared to other heirloom varieties and a superb low acid
flavor.
Weaknesses are it's susceptability to mosaic virus diseases and
cracking,
the bane of many hierlooms.

* Eva's Purple Ball-- a smaller tennis ball sized pink salad tomato.
Strengths are it's superior resistence to cracking, disease resistence,
and
a small stem core.  The main weakness is the lack of size.  My customers
are
looking more for the larger slicing types.

I would like to breed the cracking resistence and smaller stem core of
the
EPB into the larger beefsteak style slicing tomato represented by the
Blosser.

What would be the better "no brainer" method for accomplishing this
cross?
I recall reading somewhere that the guy who bred the "Morgage Lifter"
variety in the 1930's did so by surrounding a pollen receiver plant with
up
to a half dozen pollinator plants and saving seed from the best fruits
off
the pollen receiver.  My question would be "which variety should be the
pollinator and which should be the pollen receiver?"  Should I consider
doing some in both directions?  Maybe I should consider using
"Brandywine"
instead of  "Blosser" for my larger sized variety in this cross.  Both
Brandywine and Blosser yield a similar sized fruit but I like the shape
of
the Blosser a little better.  However, Blosser has the standard tomato
leaf
shape as opposed to the potato leaf shape of Brandywine.  Based on
previous
experience, I wonder if Brandywine would cross easier with EPB than
would
Blosser and if it would be easier to identify the crossed plants among
my
seed starts the following spring.  The potato leaf makes a good marker.
If
possible I would like to avoid having to hand pollinate.  How many years
would I need to repeat this process in order to get a new true breeding
variety.  How would this differ from a hybred?  I hope some of you with
plant breeding experience can weigh in on this one.

Marlin Burkholder
Virginia






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