[NAFEX] breeding the russett out

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Wed Nov 14 11:56:00 EST 2007

> Perhaps breeding wasn't the right word.  Many varieties vary by way of 
> mutation when I single branch on a given tree has fruit of a 
> significantly different quality.  This is called a sport.

> Changes in a cultivar through vegetative "sports" where say a branch after a certain point on the branch bears perceptibly different but similar fruits, are thought to be due to single-gene mutations which occurred during the growth of the plant, and are considered to be the same cultivar. A mutation which decreases or increases russeting, or red colour, may affect a lot of other things including flavour.

OK, thanks. Note that I wasn't questioning the word 'breeding,' but just 
the idea of calling a genetically-different tree by the same cultivar 
name. I guess I just thought that such sports would be renamed, since 
they would no longer be clones of the original.

But I can see how single-gene mutations might be considered as the same 
thing - basically - even though they are somewhat different. Certainly, 
they'd be a lot less different than any seedling. Yet after a few such 
sports, you could get something quite different than what you started 
with (which was the whole point of the original post, I know).

Thanks, both of you, for the info!

Lincoln, NE

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