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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Mules, Beefalo & persimmon

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  • From: "Naomi" <>
  • To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Mules, Beefalo & persimmon
  • Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 08:59:34 -0600

I raise beefalo (among other things).  The pregnancy of the unlike species is difficult.  However if the 50% bison calf is female she is fertile.  it is the males that are sterile. 
Cross the female 50% back to the bison and get 75%  this will be fertile if male or female.  back to a bovine (possible pregnancy problems) for a 3/8 bison also called a fullblood beefalo.  The 3/8 is fertile wether male or female and will breed true.
Fertility problems are male only and are most severe at 50%.  When you are at least 12% away (either direction ) from 50 you should be okay.

From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:51 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Mules, Beefalo & persimmon

Most people think of Beefalo as a cross of Bovine and Bison. Well, it is, but not 50/50.

The two will readily mate. They are quite different. There are enough physical differences seldom do they carry through to a live birth. When one does it is usually sterile. Very occasionally one will be fertile and it is back crossed to Bovine. Most of these back crosses are also sterile but when one is fertile it is once again back crossed to Bovine. I once had one of these 1/4 Bison 3/4 Bovine bulls with the idea of raising beefalo. Really beautiful animal, wavy hair, light tan and very gentle. For a year he ran with 5 mama cows, he did his thing, the cows were happy, but no calves. He too was sterile. The point is sterility goes hand in hand with hybrids of different species and a problem when breeding those hybrids.

I've been told very rarely a mule will have a live birth but few survive.

A tool often used in hybridizing as Lon wrote is doubling the chromosome numbers thus creating tetraploids, or 2 sets of each chromosome.  But if you cross this to a diploid the result is a triploid (three chromosomes of each) which resulting plant or animal is sterile. The interesting question is, why are the 90 chromosome American persimmon and the 90 chromosome kaki persimmons nearly impossible to hybridize? Both are hexiploid, or three sets of each chromosome. There should be lots of chromosomes to match up easily. But they don't, at least not easily. The Russian hybrid of kaki x virginiana, Rosseyanka, does produce a few seeds and some of them produce seedlings. Whether they are apomictic or a recombination with pollen is still not known for sure, but think they are out crosses. None of the about 10 growing here have born fruit yet, but the leaf differences would indicate outcrosses. 

For what it's worth!


PS. Japanese research scientists have found that some kaki are 120 chromosome. They are breeding these for larger fruiting kaki. As 120 C. would have larger pollen grains they are sifting pollen through stretched silk cloth. The smaller grains (likely 90 C.) fall through and the larger grains remaining in the cloth are used for breeding.


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