[NAFEX] RE: chestnuts

Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Thu Jun 17 10:19:01 EDT 2004

Thanks for the update and overview of TACF work.  We've got family friends 
in TN who are active in TACF - maybe you know them, Greg & Paula Weaver & 
their boys?
 From what I understand from discussions with Greg, the upright, 
'timber-type' growth pattern of C.dentata is a fairly dominant trait, even 
in F1 & F2 generations?

At 09:56 AM 6/17/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>         From a NAFEX perspective, there are some interesting issues that 
> TACF isn't really addressing (but I'm curious about them).  The American 
> nut is apparently much sweeter than either the Chinese or japanese - it 
> also contains a higher fat concentration and lower starch concentrations 
> that the other species.  (One article suggested that the flavor and 
> composition of the nut is influenced by the species of both the male and 
> female parent - since endosperm - nut meat - contains chromosomes from 
> both parents, this seems reasonable.) Unfortunately, the American nut is 
> a lot smaller than other species' nuts.  For a backyard orchardist, the 
> ideal Chestnut tree would probably grow fast, have the growth form of a 
> Japanese or Chinese (low and sprawling), be resistant to blight and 
> phytophora, have nuts as large as a Japanese tree, but with the sweet, 
> rich flavor of the American.  Nobody's breeding with these goals in mind, 
> though.

Good points.  I presume that TACF and ACCF are concentrating principally on 
1) blight resistance and 2) timber-type growth; is there no one in the 
upper echelons of either group who have raised the possibility of looking 
at nut quality as well, or do you suppose that at some point that might 
become an area in which some selective breeding might be directed?


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