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Tomatoes: potato AND regular leaf from same seeds?  RSS feed

 
Leila Rich
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I grew a new heritage variety last season, and have grown a lot of seedlings from seed I saved.
Thing is, they were potato leafed plants, and the majority of the seedlings are 'regular leaf'.
I'm very careful about labelling/not mixing up my seed, but I'm thinking this must have happened somehow.
I plan to sell most of the plants, so they need to be what I say they are!

I'll try and talk to someone in the 'real word' tomorrow;
but I thought I'd ask if anyone on permies knows if it's possible for a single variety to produce both potato and regular leaf plants?
I can't find anything online, which may of course be a bit of a clue...
 
John Polk
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This is fairly common with tomatoes bred for the recessive trait.

If a breeder is breeding for the dominant traits, the breed can become relatively stable by F-4, or 5.
However, when you are breeding for the recessive trait, even with F-8 or higher, the dominant trait can overshadow the recessive trait.

There might also be the possibility of cross pollinating last year with some regular leaved plants in the vicinity.


 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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John Polk wrote:This is fairly common with tomatoes bred for the recessive trait.

This is definitely an open pollinated variety, so hybrid stuff shouldn't be the problem, right?

John Polk wrote:There might also be the possibility of cross pollinating last year with some regular leaved plants in the vicinity.

Maybe, I suppose
I've never cross pollinated a tomato before, but there's always a first time...
Does that mean the potato leafed seedlings could also have traits from the regular leafed parent,
or maybe the potato leaf seedlings will be 'true'?
If so, then at least I could sell some.
If I managed to mix up the seed, I can safely assume the potato leafed plants are what I think they are,
but if it's cross pollination, I guess I can't sell them. Damn!
 
John Polk
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This is definitely an open pollinated variety, so hybrid stuff shouldn't be the problem, right?

Not necessarily so. Most tomato breeds are the work of either a breeder, or Mother Nature.

Breeders often try to find the best qualities of several breeds, and then try to merge them all into one super tomato.
Most of the heirloom tomatoes are the results of cross breeding for specific traits.

An F-1 hybrid will not breed true, but if the breeder selects from only those plants which have the traits he was seeking, and then grows out a second crop (F-2) the next season, he should have a higher percentage of tomatoes with the desired traits. I have heard some breeders claim a fairly stable variety in as little as F4/F5, but those were usually cases where the desired traits were already the dominant gene.

When you are aiming for the recessive trait, it will take more generations to get a stable variety. If you are trying to get 2 or 3 recessive traits bred into a variety, it could take quite a few years to find stability in any quantity.

Many of the breeders here in the States live in the southern states, which allows them to grow 2 crops in a single year. This allows them to reach F-8 within 4 years vs. 8 years.

Perhaps the tomatoes you grew are open pollinated, but are not yet stable. If it's cross pollination, it could have been from the source of your original seeds.



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