William Schlegel

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since Jan 23, 2017
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Recent posts by William Schlegel

Bet they have ancestors in a region with high UV and light colored soil that reflects light to the underside of the leaf.
1 week ago
Anthocyanin pigment is a plant sunscreen. It might help certain wild tomato species or populations live in harsh environments.

In breeding it is significant because the genes that express stem and leaf anthocyanins can help the expression of the trait that expresses blue / purple tomato fruit skin. Which has some health benefits but also just contributes to some good looking varieties. I've also read that when expressed in fruit the fruit tends to store longer and be less prone to sunburn.

Consider if you live in a sun drenched local climate that anthocyanin expression might be a good thing and the reverse in a constantly cloudy or shady environment.

Hairiness is another adaptation that can have similar purposes it can slow wind, raise humidity, provide some shade, and repel insects to some extent.  

1 week ago

So in my 2017 garden which this thread commemorates I facilitated a cross between Amurski Tigr and Blue Ambrosia. This is the result an exserted stigma cherry tomato with a blue blush and tiger stripes with several generations of direct seeding in its ancestry.
1 week ago

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:How does one go about selling seeds through the Experimental Farm Network? I poked around their website and couldn't find an answer to that.

I just sent them a message through their Web form and they emailed me back when I had this same question. I explained who I am what tomatoes I've bred, and why they are useful for plant breeders. Got a definite maybe in reply. Plan to stay in touch and send in some seeds maybe next cycle. Note: I also work closely with Joseph on a few things which is why the Exserted Orange Tomato seed is available now- that was a definite in. I also don't expect to make much money on this. For example: I just sent a different and regional seed company an ounce of unique tomato seed for $50.

Though before I did this I worked at plant breeding for a few years and have a couple tomato varieties in progress of potential utility to others like us. Not everything on EFN is new so it would also work to be the seed steward of a unique variety with limited availability. Which is something we often encounter when engaged in plant breeding because we also are seed savers and often looking for unique varieties. When we find a unique variety we like we often seed steward it as well. If there is enough demand we might as well grow enough seed for a seed crop and make it available.

I think there is a logical progression here in my case it's gone like this:
Gardening>Seed Saving>Native Plants> Heirlooms> Seed Trading> Plant Breeding and or Seed Stewarding > More Seed Trading > Seed Sales.
1 month ago

Jeremiah Squingelli wrote:I'm interested in getting a pack of these this year, but I'm just a seed saver and not a professional breeder or anything. As much as I'm thinking about the wildling, should I consider the Q-series instead? I'm here in central florida and between the heat, humidity, rampant disease, and invasive insects it can be hard to get much of anything to last very long here, if that makes a difference.

Hi Jeremiah,

This is plant breeding anyone can do. If you save seed and you have likes and dislikes you are qualified. Try any or all of the tomato accessions Joseph has on EFN. Save seed from any that survive your conditions and taste good to you in central Florida and repeat till they thrive and taste great for you. If they don't thrive for you then try something else.
1 month ago
Perhaps unfortunately the G2 of my dehybridization project of Autumn's choice was very pale fleshed. I really want the banded pattern in my grex so will keep some, so I may get the opportunity to see how it crosses with the green fleshed.

The green fleshed itself is not consistently green from the description there is lots of variation within it. Which should also mean variable flavor dilutions.

My aunt misses my old Maxima population which was light fleshed. Some people prefer mild flavored squash. Also mild light colored squash has some uses. Agrosperma/mixta has light flesh and it is great cooked with something stronger flavored like beets or beef because it picks up the flavor and doesn't have its own strong flavor to compete. Though mixed in a population different flavors may be hard to anticipate in a culinary plan.
2 months ago

Greg Martin wrote:The Experimental Farm Network offered seeds of the green fleshed C. moschata variety Guatemalan green fleshed ayote squash for the first time this year and they sold out in one day (I was sad!) but then just recently they started offering more (I was happy!), limit one packet per person.  They are long season so the first thing I'm doing this year is growing them out mixed with Joseph's landrace moschatas to get some northern adapted green fleshed squash....then after that the true fun will start!  Just wanted to mention this here in case anyone else happened to be looking for green fleshed squash for a breeding project.  I'm planning to breed them to the C. moschata summer squash 'Avocado' to hopefully get a nice green hue for mock guacamole apps.  

Probably these seeds won't last long.

Greg, I ordered them before they sold out initially and now have the packet in with my special seeds. I also hope to grow them with Lofthouse moschata this year as that actually ripens for me unlike most moschatas. I will probaby do one green fleshed plant in the greenhouse with one Lofthouse moschata and six plants out with the main grex of things likely to cross with Moschata which will be banded yellow/green from Autumns Choice G3 just a few plants, a few Lofthouse, and all the Tetsukabuto G2 I can grow.
2 months ago
What you are describing is segregation in the F2 and it can give you some data on what the grandparents were. Given that you might be able to reverse engineer and figure out approximately what went into the original cross.

The inbred lines used in most hybrids are secrets kept closely by seed companies and not sold. So they are basically secret recipes mainly kept from other seed companies.

An open source F1 anyone could make. Joseph Lofthouse did such a thing a year or two ago with a corn.

You can also dehybridize hybrids which is something Alan Kapuler popularized.
5 months ago
Promiscuous = Obligate Outcrossing

Its fun to think about this promiscuous / obligate outcrossing trait now that its in tasty forms in my garden. Next year I may direct seed a row of the now tasty promiscuous lines.

I think that the single plant of fuzzy fruited / other habrochaites cytoplasm line surrounded by lots of tasty promiscuous plants is by far the space efficient method to introduces habrochaites cytoplasm lines into the promiscuous project. Planting large numbers of the hard green fruited sorts of obligate outcrossing tomatoes is getting less exciting now that the tasty sorts have arrived. I have the seeds to do it though if need be or if needed.

It was interesting to me just how much more fruitful the Lofthouse habrochaites cytoplasm line was then the new fuzzy habrochaites cytoplasm line. New Fuzzy Hab really struggled to set fruits with only a few mothers actually bearing despite ~10 fuzzy hab plants and lots of lofthouse strain hab x plants around them, I expect better results from the saved seed, and am curious to see signs of hybridization between the hab lines next year. I have plates full of the seeds that need put into packets.

There was one clump of something Joseph sent that is a three species hybrid. Mostly green fruits but one kinda peach colored. Unsure what the cytoplasm was on that? If its a hab or penellii cytoplasm I need to seperate that peachy fruit.
5 months ago
This question Joseph posed. I think we can generalize it a little bit. To "have we previously accidentally produced any promiscuous lines".

I've been growing habrochaites tomatoes from Joseph since 2017 alongside exserted domestics. I undoubtedly have newly hybrid embryos amongst my seed stash. No idea what percentage.

In 2019 I grew out a huge F2 growout. Mostly of plants from exserteds I open pollinated. I deliberately daubed habrochaites pollen as well as others onto stigmas of the F1. I included a small portion of known wild hybrids. Percentage wise not great, but I definitely found a few obvious ones in the direct seeded growout. These did not set seed.

There are a few lines that I was uncertain of. However, while these may or may not have had some wild ancestry they produced abundantly. Suggesting that they were selfers.

I direct seeded BH x W4 G2 of wild type parents in 2020. Direct seeding worked great. They were fruitful. I think most say upwards of 90% were obligate outcrossers and the same with the elite lines I transplanted.

So ultimately I think from my experience an accidental promiscuous line seems unlikely. Though possible.

However, I'm curious to see what happens when I isolate a habrochaites plant amongst the promiscuous G4 plants in 2021. Have a furry habrochaites line and a G4 packet with good bicolor. Yep it would be possible to have a furry bicolor. If our promiscuous lines can back cross to a full habrochaites that's convincing proof that everything works. I grew the G2? Of such an experiment with the usual habrochaites lines this year from Joseph but all were wild type so far.
5 months ago