[Market-farming] Intentionally crossing tomatoes

logrock logrock at bellsouth.net
Thu Feb 10 23:35:13 EST 2005

Oops...it is late...seed for *sale* (Meaning if you are successful, that
sounds like a tomato we would love to grow.)  

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Marlin
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
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
types among his non potato leafed transplants or when something besides
cherry tomatos start appearing on the cherry tomato plants.  Then I
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
of more modern varieties which renders them more susceptable to

Well anyway, now I am thinking of trying to intentionally cross two
varieties that I like a lot, but both have highly contrasting positive
negative characteristics I would like to combine in hopes of ending up
a new variety that would minimize the weaknesses of both of them and
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
Weaknesses are it's susceptability to mosaic virus diseases and
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,
a small stem core.  The main weakness is the lack of size.  My customers
looking more for the larger slicing types.

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

What would be the better "no brainer" method for accomplishing this
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
to a half dozen pollinator plants and saving seed from the best fruits
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
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
the Blosser a little better.  However, Blosser has the standard tomato
shape as opposed to the potato leaf shape of Brandywine.  Based on
experience, I wonder if Brandywine would cross easier with EPB than
Blosser and if it would be easier to identify the crossed plants among
seed starts the following spring.  The potato leaf makes a good marker.
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

Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.300 / Virus Database: 265.8.5 - Release Date: 2/3/2005

Market-farming mailing list
Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org

Get the list FAQ at: http://www.marketfarming.net/mflistfaq.htm

More information about the Market-farming mailing list