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Harvesting Okra Seeds - Is 2 plants OK for Genetic Diversity?

 
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Hi all,

I harvested okra seeds from a single plant in 2018 from a local community garden, and than grew 2 plants in my own garden and have collected the seeds from the more vigorous of the 2. They both did well despite not much attention.

So, if I plant these again, that will be the 3rd generation that stems from a single plant. Is this OK?

I have heard that beans are fine to collect seed in such a fashion, but corn would be a disaster. Does anyone know how this relates to okra? Or if perhaps there are any rules of thumb people know about?
 
pollinator
Posts: 628
Location: Montana
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Seed to Seed doesn't seem to report any minimum population size. Does say to cage plants or bag blossoms to keep varieties pure.

The seed garden says 1 plant for viable seed, 5 to 10 plants for variety maintenance, and 25 plants for genetic preservation.

So I guess you are getting viable seed but not preserving genetic variation. That could work fine for a long time. Eventually you might end up with seed that's too inbred and weaker plants. Though that could be fixed by adding in new seed. An easy way to get new seed would be to add it to a trading list. Then it's just postage.
If you really like the strain, you could also increase your next grow out to at least five plants, and that would increase your odds of not having problems. I'm assuming a relatively small garden. Also if you had a gardening friend who would grow a couple plants it could increase the effective population size. Then just remember to each grow a plant from seed from each garden the next year.
 
steward
Posts: 5145
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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There is very little genetic diversity left in the population after two generations of single seed descent. If they grow fine, then don't worry about it.

My general observation about okra, is that it's one of the most phenotypically diverse crops that I have worked with, which would seem to imply that it thrives with genetic diversity. Otherwise we would have more highly inbred okra varieties.
 
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