• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

High tech fancy apple breeding

 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
 
Salkeela Bee
Posts: 102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good find.  I got some of the Kazakstan seeds offered by the USDA Plant Genetic Resources Unit (offer made in Botany of Desire by Michael Pollen) and have grown about 80 little apple plants.  One is very red leafed..... it is getting some TLC!

Of course the only way I have to hurry the fruit tasting session from these is to attempt a bud graft onto a dwarfing root stock that should bring fruit sooner.  Guess what my project is for this summer!  I have 10 M27 rootstocks planted and hope to bud graft in August.  The red one especially and then a few other particularly strong looking plants too.

Even if I produce nothing (and my aim is not commercial) I will have had a bit of fun amuzing myself trying....
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

  He said to breed fruit with high anthocyanin and good fruit you need to know whats going on at the gene level. this isnt true. Not at all actually. Unless they intend to use biotech methods I guess?

  They obviously had the apple with high levels of the stuff, he was holding it in the video. they need it to be tasty, in this case since its visual and you can see when it is red, you could simply cross the red fruited one to many tastier apples. Then grow out thousands of trees. Looking for one with red flesh and is tasty. I do understand the whole point was to sped up the breeding process, but the premise you HAVE to know whats going on at the gene level just isnt true. not in this case. Labs can have all kinds of short cuts over what we can do ourselves yet much of the best work came from chance finds and other means. 

ESPECIALLY from a permaculture type mind frame. (atleast my permie mindset that is) built within what this guy said, though he didnt say it... but its nearly system wide.... is the thought, you can breed that tasty, nutritious apple and thats that. this to date means SPRAYING.  there are many exceptions, but most tree fruit breeder consider spraying part of the game.... and the more variables you include, like disease resistance, the harder it is to breed. it also makes less money for the system later...    heres the thing though, even breeding for disease, well these things evolve. a forest of apple trees in their native range are always one step ahead of disease. sometimes a single variety humans saved for a long time atleast in certain regions continues to be disease free as well. what Im poorly trying to get at here is, this world view is a bit more stagnant then i see things. Basically Id want a dozen tasty red fleshed apples. and to be working on the next dozen. rather then the mindset that thinks we can breed it once then if we have to spray it into "health".... we didnt get enough info in this particular case to know that is the mindset they came from, but Ive read a fair amount on the subject and that is the exact mindset the bulk come from.

    I just looked it up, this has been done in the UK, and also a person found one growing from a chance seedling in oregon, though not as red as the one in the picture.

    I do certainly still applaud such work, (presuming they arent using biotech methods) but Id simply get it myself and continue to cross it to other things, and work at selecting the next phase of the same traits. Its how nature works, and its how I think we should work our relationship to nature.... trying to fight the current when you dont have to just seems silly. and not going forward as im saying leaves you open for evolution of something else to catch yo, even if you were issue free to start.

  our countries wheat for instance is in major jeopardy now. we rely on to few genetics, and disease issues are building. If/when they catch us, we will be hurting. we need to have flowing evolving crops as i see it. that evolve with the eco systems. with the diseases.... Its not even to hard actually, if we built it into our models...
 
Salkeela Bee
Posts: 102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think they could just check the genotype to shortcut the growing out phase.  Ie they can tell before the treelet produces apples whether those apples will be red. 

Me?  Well I'll have to grow mine all out which takes time and space.  They could check very early and then not grow on the non-reds.

Here's one on offer: link
 
                            
Posts: 56
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Red-fleshed apples are nothing new. As part of my apple-grafting this spring, I grafted a couple of red-fleshed varieties (Clifford, Winter Red Flesh) and interestingly enough when I sliced open the scion the pigment was slightly pinkish-red -- way cool! I'm also planting out 'Winekist,' a red fleshed apple offered by Fedco in the forest garden sometime in the next few days.

Furthermore, "tasting awful" out of hand doesn't mean it's a bad apple, it just means you should use it for other things like cider. Red-fleshed apples have been used to impart a red color to hard ciders.

My understanding is that the way to shortcut growing out a tree from seed for years before knowing if it's a "good apple" or not is merely to grow it out for a couple of years, cut fresh growth and graft it out onto an older tree. Should produce in a couple of years.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wildeyes wrote:

My understanding is that the way to shortcut growing out a tree from seed for years before knowing if it's a "good apple" or not is merely to grow it out for a couple of years, cut fresh growth and graft it out onto an older tree. Should produce in a couple of years.


yeah thats a common tactic. As is what salkeela mentioned.

I still see it a bit differently myself. Lots of unexpected traits will only show up if you grow it out. Its rare enough most breeders ignore it. but its powerful enough, I dont. Or wont rather. Its not always about shortcuts....

Theres also the aspect of rootstocks. which probably isnt an issue for many, but in my soil it is. So as i grow out apples, some will do much better then others. those are possible rootstock choices. I can graft desirable things onto those, or varieties that look interesting but arent growing well in my soil, so those I can cut down, make some hugelkultur beds or whatever... plant the next round of seeds....

Im going to devote about 20 percent of my space to similar projects with trees. Many of the best apples we have came about by chance or someone who grew a forest of apples or other fruit from seed. not all of course, but my point being you just never know and that shortcuts are great but not always the only or best option.

just for reference many other types of trees a re much easier to breed then apples. With apples the bulk arent usable even for cider. many other things everything is still good, like plums or apricots or peaches. youll pretty much also get useful fruit.

basically though, if you wanted to without to much efforts you can improve your varieties yourself. sure you use up some of the space (this is me talking about MY orchard/forest plans) but for me using some of my capitol to ensure the future of my production is more then worth it. Pluss any trees I need to pull serve other uses anyway, and I will want constant sources of wood for terra preta and hugelkultur.... which help keep my system in line anyway. So at the same time it ensures the future it will help me in the present....
 
Salkeela Bee
Posts: 102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm going to grow out all the apple trees from the original seed lot I got.  The red one is going in the garden as it will be pretty no matter what.  The others will be planted in an little orchard in the corner of a field.

However.. the grafting excercise is to satisfy my curiousity!  Also it will mean that if I do decide to try for another generation (ie to do a cross) I will have flowers sooner than if I must wait for the tree itself to mature. 

So both the whole tree and the grafted branch approach can be used together to good effect on a small and personal scale.

Part of this is purely for fun for me... but also I recognise that genetic diversity is important if apples are to be grown without sprays etc. 

So I too will be looking for natural resilience.  None of my named variety trees are sprayed.  Silverseeds I think we have similar ideas. 

 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wildeyes wrote:
Red-fleshed apples are nothing new. As part of my apple-grafting this spring, I grafted a couple of red-fleshed varieties (Clifford, Winter Red Flesh) and interestingly enough when I sliced open the scion the pigment was slightly pinkish-red -- way cool! I'm also planting out 'Winekist,' a red fleshed apple offered by Fedco in the forest garden sometime in the next few days.

Furthermore, "tasting awful" out of hand doesn't mean it's a bad apple, it just means you should use it for other things like cider. Red-fleshed apples have been used to impart a red color to hard ciders.

My understanding is that the way to shortcut growing out a tree from seed for years before knowing if it's a "good apple" or not is merely to grow it out for a couple of years, cut fresh growth and graft it out onto an older tree. Should produce in a couple of years.


Personally, I think early detection of what someone 'thinks' is a good apple is a sour load of dragon manure!  Grapes and apples (could this apply to other foods, hmm, research is needed) change flavor based on surrounding conditions.  Something that this method thinks is flavorful might not be, and vice versa. 



 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pink flesh apples are pretty common, red flesh apples are not. It's a matter of scope. And they are taste testing the old fashioned way. It's just that they are using a lab to weed out all of the seedlings that are not red while they backcross the red variety to a variety that tastes good again and again. It's a safe bet that they are bud grafting as well, doing everything they can to speed the process, and not wasting time and effort is one of those things.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Who wants to bet they aren't taking into account local forest conditions and other tree connections and are doing things using chemical Ag thus making the soil fairly sterile.  ((Trees do graft at the root level with one another, even cross species like birch and elm))

No connections from other trees, no sharing of water, nutrients or hormones,  little to no mycleium roots connecting to other plants as well.




All those things effect taste, as does so much more. 
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
Pink flesh apples are pretty common, red flesh apples are not. It's a matter of scope. And they are taste testing the old fashioned way. It's just that they are using a lab to weed out all of the seedlings that are not red while they backcross the red variety to a variety that tastes good again and again. It's a safe bet that they are bud grafting as well, doing everything they can to speed the process, and not wasting time and effort is one of those things.


yeah theres nothing wrong with that. I was just positing the ideas that you can indeed miss desirable traits like that, and that I prefer a more adaptive approach.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
out of the hundreds of apples I started from seed last year,one has red leaves.I put it in a special place.As a permiculturist,I am more interested in apples that produce well where Im at without outside inputs.Most breeding programs have high fertility and spraying as a given and are thus less usefull to me.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You can also cross apples to crab apples sometimes. It can be a bit trickier then working with apples alone, but whole new fruits characteristics are possible. Theres a variety called... kurr Id have to look it up. but its pretty common in the trade. It is the result of such a cross.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Mekka, I feel like you are searching for something to be upset about. If Apples change appreciably from soil to soil (I'd think rootstock would matter too) then no matter how they grew them they wouldn't taste the same to you that they taste to the folks at the NZ ag station. We've been grafting apple varieties for hundreds of years, and they are consistently delicious.

@Silverseeds, yes they will miss good characteristics, you can be sure that no matter what the plan they will miss good characteristics, they can't plant all of the crop and pasture lands of NZ in apples and what apples aren't inedible, it's a targeted breeding program, and they are making it more affordable with Molecular Biology (which is what my educational background is in FYI).
 
Salkeela Bee
Posts: 102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mt.goat wrote:
out of the hundreds of apples I started from seed last year,one has red leaves.I put it in a special place.As a permiculturist,I am more interested in apples that produce well where Im at without outside inputs.Most breeding programs have high fertility and spraying as a given and are thus less usefull to me.


Hi Mt Goat.  I'm interested to know more about your apple pip plantings.  Have you planted them out yet?  If this is not your first attempt (like mine), have you found any gems?  Also  have you culled any unsuitables yet? 

Also have you tried any intentional crosses yourself?  I'm hoping to try this eventually.  Just curious about your stories. 
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is in an early stage so no results here.I find it uses less energy to adjust my taste preferences.Ive never met an apple I didnt enjoy(try cooking with them).Most of my seedlings are from feral apples or apples proving themselves without inputs on poor soils.I also pull aside hybreds with the native crab(malus fusca) as these make up the champion size trees in my state.
 
Salkeela Bee
Posts: 102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love most apples too.... well except a few dry shop versions that occasionally make it here.

An apple straight from a tree though is great.  I've  a dozen or so Irish varieties planted intentionally.  Then a Bramley and a couple of local garden centre purchases.  These are just starting to reach productivity.

The ones I'm really looking forward to trying though are the ones I grew from pips - they are only year old though so I've a bit of a wait even with grafting.  I also grew out a few Braeburn and Pink Lady pips last year - just because they were the apples in the kitchen when I started the others.

 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
@Mekka, I feel like you are searching for something to be upset about. If Apples change appreciably from soil to soil (I'd think rootstock would matter too) then no matter how they grew them they wouldn't taste the same to you that they taste to the folks at the NZ ag station. We've been grafting apple varieties for hundreds of years, and they are consistently delicious.



No not true, when a grape is made into wine, people can taste variations, inhale scents, etc.  As with apples, something can be sweeter on one property then another with the same variety based on local variables.  Then if you go further into cider, and cider jack making, the same "notes" found in wine can be found again.

My point is, we don't need to manipulate on a genome level, and shouldn't, IMO.  ((The why we shouldn't is an ethics debate not for this forum or thread, staying on topic))

 
Salkeela Bee
Posts: 102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mekka Pakanohida wrote:

My point is, we don't need to manipulate on a genome level, and shouldn't, IMO. 


Although the video showed the gene expression mechanism for the red fleshed phenotype, at no time did I see it suggest the use of Genetic Engineering techniques to artificially put those mechanisms into an existing variety (granted that may be possible - but I did not see it suggested in the video). 

The video did mention using technology to check for the presence of the red genotype in new hybrids.  I took it from the clip however that the hybrids created for testing, were crossed using conventional methods. 

Did you think a GMO had been produced? or that this was being suggested?
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
If Apples change appreciably from soil to soil (I'd think rootstock would matter too) then no matter how they grew them they wouldn't taste the same to you that they taste to the folks at the NZ ag station. We've been grafting apple varieties for hundreds of years, and they are consistently delicious.


The concept of 'terroir' is well studied in grapes and wine making, it is starting to be validated by GC/Mass Spec methods that can identify the type of soil a grape was grown in ... a trained/talented taster can do the same thing.

I think that a gene that controls the color of apple flesh is not likely to turn off or on in response to terroir, but many of the subtler aroma and flavor compounds could be affected by the soil parent material and microbial ecology.  A sharp cider apple is probably never going to be a table apple due to genes, but it's character will be affected by the environment. 
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nor would I expect terroir to turn off what ever marker(s) it is that is in charge of apple color, that would be just silly.  However, the sharing of hormones, nutrients be they micro or macro, and water shared with the apple next door can effect the plant as they graft in a forest both using mycleium roots and actual root grafting.

To simply take an apple out of the forest without considering the forest from which it came and its effect on it is the issue I have.



Salkeela, Man has been producing tasty apples (and other vegs / fruits) of that color (and others) for a long time prior to needing all those computers, plastics, and petrochemicals shown in the scenes.  That isn't a "sustainable" method for lack of better terms... ..I am unsure I can impress upon anyone enough my disdain for plastics and what it has caused for this planet.

Maybe if more people surfed world wide they would understand.

 
Salkeela Bee
Posts: 102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So some plant breeding techniques should be abandoned because they use plastic or a computer?

Yet you are posting here on a computer that probably has some plastic components?  You are surely extending your knowledge using these techniques?

So (and admittedly I am not in favour of GMO crops or petrochemicals) you reject the screening of plants by technologically enhanced techniques because plastic and computers should not be used in natural breeding programmes?

Yet you are happy to advance your knowledge, and thereby presumably short cut some of your learning the hard way, by using technology?

Sorry I realise I am playing devil's advocate here... its 9pm on my side of the planet and I've had a glass or two of red wine
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It just seems like your complaint applies to all apple selection ever done in the last few thousand years as equally as it does to this research.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  I applaud this work I do... presuming it is not biotech, which Im not a fan of. i couldnt knock breeding for nutrition. besides in cases like this where color is a dead give away, its not always easy to select for nutrition qualities. youd have to test it in a lab later. Of course diversity negates a need depending on your mindset, but still.

though truthfully I am not convinced this method is really worthwhile. they have a very select set of goals. this method does help them get there faster, though Im not convinced cheaper, its not to expensive to grow out a bunch of trees if youve got the land. Perhaps cheaper, but thats debateable I believe.

in the greater picture though, is our problem not enough nutrition in our apples? or the fact the bulk of the varieties in most areas NEED sprays to do well? (since folks now think spots are evil or denote low quality)
Again i understand they had specific goals, likely funding designating those goals. but really if you were going to fund breeding of apples, why wouldnt you want to get the BEST performing apples under various conditions,  this isn'ts remotely what youd do. Those are the types projects we could REALLY REALLY use, especially for permie goals. Ive read enough on disease to know in most if not all cases given enough time you can do this. for disease anyway, its not the only issue.

having this apple with better nutrition would be great, Id buy it and put it in my forest happily. but this style project just doesnt work for the type of breeding that reveals the truly best varieties. Its slower and not as flashy to do it the long  way, so most ignore it. this is to all of our detriment in my eyes. truthfully we should be doing both, having unniversities perhaps, doing stuff like in this video to isolate the most extreme of various traits. and the breeding Im talking about to work them into the best possible forms, for 1000 different eco systems. I know a guy who did this with various veggies and grains(that was for perennial habit) and he had no lab and not to much help. He bred broccoli that could live in the summer. Lots of other projects that got lost in time or were partially done and others i didnt mention always stretch the boundaries of what possible. he did this with not a ton of money, and mainly time and other peoples land, or even just spots he cleared in fields or the woods.

why is it so rare when these labs put out such things? If a person had the mindset like my friend, but the type of funding the lab has, and the project in india I mentioned shows also, the sky is the limit. these labs havent proven themselves worth it, except in distinguishing the best of certain traits later perhaps. do they have the wrong methods? or hidden agendas? The wrong mindsets? I dont know... but in tons of cases they seem to not be able to  live up to what the genetics suggest is possible.....

stuff disappears to. My friend had been in the field decades. And told me of many projects different groups worked on, then they just went away. he tracked down seed to a few most were gone. revolutionary stuff to. Im not joking or making this up, though I cant point to much proof...

If we were to pay for one way or the other though, I think what i was laying out would be much more profitable, and a better use of capitol.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Salkeela wrote:
So some plant breeding techniques should be abandoned because they use plastic or a computer?

Yet you are posting here on a computer that probably has some plastic components?  You are surely extending your knowledge using these techniques?

So (and admittedly I am not in favour of GMO crops or petrochemicals) you reject the screening of plants by technologically enhanced techniques because plastic and computers should not be used in natural breeding programmes?

Yet you are happy to advance your knowledge, and thereby presumably short cut some of your learning the hard way, by using technology?

Sorry I realise I am playing devil's advocate here... its 9pm on my side of the planet and I've had a glass or two of red wine






Swing, and a miss on all counts, same with Emerson.  Silverseeds is closest without going over for...

I applaud this work I do... presuming it is not biotech, which Im not a fan of.




However, this is obviously biotech work to increase antioxidants and mass market it, aka gmo.

 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh this is definitely biotech, but I think you think of biotech as something more specific than it really is. Even if they weren't working on a new strain of apple, just looking at the genes responsible for the redness is biotech; running a test to see what species of apple you are dealing with is biotech too. I suspect that what you are against are transgenic organisms, where a gene is taken from one organism and put into another on purpose.

This work is cheaper because they are stacking functions (often a good idea) they are doing basic research which can later be applied to different traits and genes, and cranking out apples that are redder and more commercially viable.

Yes apples that are easier to grow are a good outcome, but they require more understanding of genetics because those are more complex traits. The commercial viability of these apples may in the end pay for the research that leads to apples that do not need to be sprayed down with copper every spring.

Edited:
Mekka Pakanohida wrote:However, this is obviously biotech work to increase antioxidants and mass market it, aka gmo.

This is definitionally not a GMO, no genetic modification went into this organism. The only tools used on the plants are tweezers, sheers, and loppers. That's why they've been working for 6 years in the breeding program, if they wanted to make a GMO they could have a super red variety of any apple they wanted in a year and a half, but then they would have a GMO.

As a rule (I think it's one of the rules that was written for me) GMO discussions are not allowed here, which is why I don't post much GMO news, I only posted this because I researched it and made sure that it was in fact not a GMO.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Apples do not need to be sprayed though, which is one of the points of permaculture, and modifying the plant so it doesn't need to be sprayed is not.

Miracle Apples anyone?
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
Yes apples that are easier to grow are a good outcome, but they require more understanding of genetics because those are more complex traits.


this isnt true actually. you can look at a tree see how its growing. taste the apples, see how well they store. You can see if the tree has disease or excessive pest issues on and on. It takes absolutely zero understanding of genetics. It takes an understanding of breeding but that doesnt have to include understanding of genetics in all cases. though it certainly makes some things happen faster, and shows us others probably arent possible. it really hasnt made to many things excluding gm stuff possible. though in certain cases especially lining up everything right without biotech means would be very hard, it hardly matters because weve got no need to do it.

there are hordes of things you can never anticipate until your in the field, and with as many variables as an eco system has, its hard for me to think that anything the lab offers is actually superior.

 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
SILVERSEEDS wrote:
this isnt true actually. you can look at a tree see how its growing. taste the apples, see how well they store. You can see if the tree has disease or excessive pest issues on and on. It takes absolutely zero understanding of genetics. It takes an understanding of breeding but that doesnt have to include understanding of genetics in all cases. though it certainly makes some things happen faster, and shows us others probably arent possible. it really hasnt made to many things excluding gm stuff possible. though in certain cases especially lining up everything right without biotech means would be very hard, it hardly matters because weve got no need to do it.

there are hordes of things you can never anticipate until your in the field, and with as many variables as an eco system has, its hard for me to think that anything the lab offers is actually superior.

But what they are doing here is substituting knowledge about what make and apple of a certain type for time and effort spent growing apples of little useful value. Instead of using thousands of acres of otherwise productive forestland for test apples they can use a little lab and one or two acres (most of it in little pots in which naturally bred seeds are placed) and fewer years. Everyone is trying to have less need for disease control measures, it's just a matter of doing it in a way that is commercially viable and environmentally friendly. They are using these tests to predict which apples will have the traits that they want so they can turn the others into the compost pile, rather than growing them out for years, it's much like Luther burbank who pioneered budgrafting to select his apples faster. We do not know enough about the genetics of traits adaptive against diseases to be able to select based on lab work a strain that is highly likely to stand up to an infection well.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
SILVERSEEDS wrote:

there are hordes of things you can never anticipate until your in the field, and with as many variables as an eco system has, its hard for me to think that anything the lab offers is actually superior.




Not to mention you lose the scores of things that influence apples to be apples.  Other plants, trees, fungi, animals, mushrooms, bacteria, etc.

Any plant or tree is always trying to adapt to its environment, you remove it from its ecology (the actual latin meaning, study of its house) and you put it some place sterile it will act differently.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
But what they are doing here is substituting knowledge about what make and apple of a certain type for time and effort spent growing apples of little useful value. Instead of using thousands of acres of otherwise productive forestland for test apples they can use a little lab and one or two acres (most of it in little pots in which naturally bred seeds are placed) and fewer years. Everyone is trying to have less need for disease control measures, it's just a matter of doing it in a way that is commercially viable and environmentally friendly. They are using these tests to predict which apples will have the traits that they want so they can turn the others into the compost pile, rather than growing them out for years, it's much like Luther burbank who pioneered budgrafting to select his apples faster. We do not know enough about the genetics of traits adaptive against diseases to be able to select based on lab work a strain that is highly likely to stand up to an infection well.


your last sentence sticks out of course since it is actually the biggest issue if your looking at efficiency of the system. Lots of these things are publicly funded.

You said "they require more understanding of genetics" . Like I said this just isnt true. none of the breeding Ive read about and many large ones included wouldnt of taken anywhere close to 1000s of acre, not at all actually. though, much much more then these methods your certainly right there.

even burbanks bud grafting, doesnt show us ALL traits. It can speed certainly things up, but thats really my point, the longer way is more complete. You even agreed with that if you word all you said a bit differently.

Spraying ignoring all peak oil issues, and everything else, just isnt an efficient use of resources. It sets us up for other issues as well. compounding diseases in some cases... and likely things weve not anticipated. When we can breed our way out of most of these things, why do it in other ways? why not focus breeding on that FIRST, then improve from there? my guess is agenda drives this more then science or truly making better trees.

further imagine if all those permies the world over (who have more then a small lot anyway)
devoted some effort to this.
 
                            
Posts: 56
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to add another couple of things for thought here.


And here is the most amazing thing yet:  These apple trees are the source of all apples in the world!  The results of a genetic sequencing of the trees by researchers* show that the apple forests of Kazakhstan are without a doubt the birthplace of the apple.  In fact, at this point, it looks like 90% of the world's apples are descendants of just two trees.  Kazakhs were absolutely right when they named their city Almaty, the fatherland of apples.  One of the recurring themes when sequencing genes--in order to find the source of a particular fruit or vegetable--is that at the geographical location of their origin the diversity of the particular plant or tree is the greatest.  As we have seen, that certainly is the case for the apple.


Source: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3125/

When they say "all the apples in the world" I presume they're referring to domesticated varieties. To me, this is another clear reminder of the need to start trees from seed. I plan on getting Malus sieversii seed from the USDA (http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/site_main.htm?modecode=19-10-05-00) and planting some out to cross with some domestic varieties. Backcrossing some wild genes might be good in the face of climate change?

Word to all the folks mentioning all the the other conditions aside from genetics that influence trees (and all living things). That's where most orchards I see seem lacking. They're just lawns with trees. Whereas the dom-cult goes towards sterility to try to keep everything in check, I favor diversity and letting the chaos ensue.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The labs are just now starting to be commercially viable, and our understanding of genetics and lab capabilities are growing astronomically quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if in 20 years a device the size of a smart phone and a few bottles of cheap chemicals could be carried out into the field to completely analyze the genome of an organism, bioinformatics will eventually make is very inexpensive to figure out what traits are controlled genetically and what traits are environmental, and to take advantage of that knowledge to pick just the right plant for your situation. We are rapidly learning how to use our new tools to learn more about everything, and learning to organize that knowledge in computers because our puny human brains are just too small to take full advantage of the data that we have. At one time you may recall that it wasn't commercially viable to sell computers to individuals, but now it's fantastically viable.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
.......... because our puny human brains are just too small to take full advantage of the data that we have. At one time you may recall that it wasn't commercially viable to sell computers to individuals, but now it's fantastically viable.


How many variables will be accounted for? 80 percent? 90? 95?

Technically a computer could include 100 percent of variables and data, but will it?

Breeding on site accounts for 100 percent including ones we might never of thought to put in the computer.

im not going to say your wrong. Im just saying there is indeed another way too do every bit as profound things  that can do everything short of lining up genetics in ways nature doesnt anyway. also things that you just cannot anticipate can happen in the field. So really it is truly debatable which is better. One is faster for sure, but the other offers unseen potentials, and all potentials that altering how genetics can line up in nature.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
But there is less predictive value to that/ Even with selection based on genetic testing you still grow the apple to maturity in some location and eat the fruit before you start shipping out scionwood. If you are just looking at the plants in the location there's no way to tell if it didn't get apple scab because the plant in superior or because it got lucky, or because of something someone sprayed. It's only by studying apples inside and out that we get to where we can predict if a plant is going to be resistant to a disease and choose to test it or if it's going to be susceptible and choose not to waste our time testing it. Yes good plants will end up getting not tested, but good plants end up being not tested now before they are even planted because no one wants to expend the resources to look at them. The strawberry genome was just mapped recently as well, and it's a safe bet that people are going to identify the compounds that have been lost through domestication and run breeding programs with back crosses specifically to get them back into our commercial crops.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
But there is less predictive value to that/ Even with selection based on genetic testing you still grow the apple to maturity in some location and eat the fruit before you start shipping out scionwood. If you are just looking at the plants in the location there's no way to tell if it didn't get apple scab because the plant in superior or because it got lucky, or because of something someone sprayed. It's only by studying apples inside and out that we get to where we can predict if a plant is going to be resistant to a disease and choose to test it or if it's going to be susceptible and choose not to waste our time testing it. Yes good plants will end up getting not tested, but good plants end up being not tested now before they are even planted because no one wants to expend the resources to look at them. The strawberry genome was just mapped recently as well, and it's a safe bet that people are going to identify the compounds that have been lost through domestication and run breeding programs with back crosses specifically to get them back into our commercial crops.


Sometimes for many diseases its not even resistance you need but plants that arent susceptible. that can take many forms even things you not currently considered. there are also many strains of the same disease and they evolve pretty quick if they want to. Its not a black and white issue.

the moment we think we can anticipate ALL issues is sometime not long before whatever we are doing will show us its not all inclusive....

Im not saying these things cannot be valuable tools specifically in speeding things up, but you simply cannot and never will be able to do all things in a lab you can in the field.

when your talking nutritional things when its not directly elated to color or other distinguishable factors then you certainly need a lab to ID it in a wild plant, and a lab to ID it once its bred into a desirable crop. valuable no doubts there. but really from my perspective I just eat a wide range of foods, so for me personally I dont get terribly excited by it, though once I find such breeding work, I do get it if possible and include it into my breeding projects....

As far as im concerned we need to grow our berries in balanced ways with onsite inputs, productively much more then we need to have them have more nutrition. they are pretty good now, good enough we could wait until we have an actual sustainable system before we worry ourselves with it.

good old fashioned projects can not only get us there, but get us there much faster then waiting for labs to figure out 100 variables we may not even realize to account for yet..... that we automatically breed for in the field. In 1000 different fields preferably.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We used to have the same concerns about pullies and gears, you are operating under the current paradigm rather than peering into how things will function in the paradigm of real knowledge.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
We used to have the same concerns about pullies and gears, you are operating under the current paradigm rather than peering into how things will function in the paradigm of real knowledge.


/not even remotely actually. Im aware enough of enough variables to see we wont be anywhere near able to account for all variables in the lab for a generation or more. even at that point there will be still more.

In the field it works itself out. It also doesnt take an expert so presumably 100,000 people could work on it passively and wed have trees evolving with the eco systems.

Im certainly not saying there arent many useful ways to use labs, and more to come, but some things will always work best.

also who will breed trees for ME? no one has breed anything else for this area that grows non irrigated since the tribal days as far as I know and have found. I dont live in a sweet spot for ag. will it ever be profitable to breed for me?

If your excluding actually altering how genetics could line up naturally theres little a lab can offer but speed on certain projects. and Im not looking at real knowledge?

thats a bit of a leap. im including many more variables in my reasoning then you are is all.

breeding the most nutrient dense food is great, now tell me how many variables this will include? Will it adapt to how many soils? to what differences in water amounts... etc etc.. It will take a generation or more until each food, even just common ones are "fully" mapped. that in itself is funny when Ive come across more then one story where we thought we mapped something only to find more....

the type of breeding im talking about includes all this. It also accounts for the fact things WILL show up we absolutely didnt anticipate.... unfortunately i cant think of an example off the top of my head, but Ive come across a few in my re search.

so you tell me is breeding for plants that fit actual eco systems more pressing NOW in the world we actually live in, or more nutrients in food when simple diversity answers that? be honest, weigh the facts as a scientist looking for the best path, the clearest path to where we need to be.

how long would it take to catalog ALL variables in ALL eco systems and relationships to ALL genetics? because breeding as im talking about does 99 percent of that without thinking about most of it. You can test for or bred for nutrition with the keepers and youve matched everything a lab does, although need the lab to verify that part of course if its not color related....

My guess is such a data base is 50-60 years off? maybe more? 100 wouldnt surprise me, especially since these "cutting edge"  guys arent even breeding for remotely the most important issue in the food. theres a few but they are a minority. Im talking actually accounting for all variables for all eco systems. because isnt that what breeding is about?

by the very nature of those methods and our current data sets, its 100 percent impossible for them to match this. how many generations do we have until our current system will degrade enough that we NEED a new system in place? Perma culture can answer this in a generation. I cant fathm the lab guys building such a database then, although if they actually tried they might do well with very key things in very key places in that time....

Im not operating under the current paradigm at all actually. in my paradigm we include all known variables and issues, and look for the fastest surest answers. We dont select random single traits and spend 5 years breeding for it. We select traits that encompass all of an ecosystem and take 7-10 years, as a relative example of what I can presumably do in my back yard. In the current paradigm we foolishly pretend we include all variables while we at the same time know we ignore many.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wildeyes wrote:
I want to add another couple of things for thought here.

Source: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3125/

When they say "all the apples in the world" I presume they're referring to domesticated varieties. To me, this is another clear reminder of the need to start trees from seed. I plan on getting Malus sieversii seed from the USDA (http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/site_main.htm?modecode=19-10-05-00) and planting some out to cross with some domestic varieties. Backcrossing some wild genes might be good in the face of climate change?

Word to all the folks mentioning all the the other conditions aside from genetics that influence trees (and all living things). That's where most orchards I see seem lacking. They're just lawns with trees. Whereas the dom-cult goes towards sterility to try to keep everything in check, I favor diversity and letting the chaos ensue.




Wildeyes, I want to thank you a lot.  I already contacted the field office, there are variety here, local, unlisted in the catalog.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Silverseeds.. et. al. think of this variable as well.

John Audubon claims in his notes, that when he was alive in America pigeons (which is amazing fertilizer and used to be more important then gold) would fly over head darkening the skies for hours, then roost, and spread manure over a given forest to the tune of several inches before flying off.  A food forest getting that much nutrients would be amazing to see. 

Given that, man has decimated the wildlife which helps provide nutrients to forests, and now, said forests are attempting to cope with less inputs from nature, while dealing with pollution from humankind.

More and more increasing variables...



 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic