[NAFEX] selecting trifoliate

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Mar 1 21:34:47 EST 2004

Actually, mutation breeding might be the faster way to go.  That would mean
exposing seed to radiation or mutating chemicals, though.  The way to go is
to find out what the LD50 for the seed would be (how much mutation would
kill half of them), then see if a university in your area has a radiation
source to expose them.  I saw this done with cuttings of Perlette grapes at
the Univerisity of California at Davis, as part of a program to get a sport
of Perlette with looser clusters than the original.  If you contact the
horticulture department of the university, they may be able to help you, and
if you are really lucky, you can sometimes get your lot of seed in with
someone else's experiment, which can go a long way to keeping the fee low.
   And before anyone thinks otherwise, this is NOT genetic engineering.
Mutations occur in Nature due to things like natural radiation.  This is
simply a means of speeding up the process.  And the seed is NOT radioactive
when it comes out. 
   With luck, there may be some seedlings with sweeter or less resinous
fruit.  There will definitely be a lot with odd growth habits - variegated
leaves, dwarf growth habit, twisted growth habit (like Flying Dragon), etc.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at
Winner of the Garden Writers Association "Best Talent in Writing" award for

If breeding trifoliate with palatable citrus results in loss of
hardiness, then the approach to take would be selecting and hybridizing
only trifoliate plants then?

There is a trifoliate in the neighborhood here that I eat the fruit from
for amusement a few times a year.  The flavor is tolerable, the seeds
multitudinous and the resin aggravating.  Possibly many generations of
breeding could produce a success story similar to the develoment of
apples and asian persimmons...
At any rate, i have started some seedlings and we'll see what
happens...perhaps a sport that tastes like a King mandarin. ;-)

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