11 December 2011

Some other projects - tomatoes and potatoes

For the last couple of seasons, I've been growing out early generation tomato plants as part of the The Dwarf Tomato Project. This season, I've decided to cross Jaune Flammee with one of my dwarfs, looking for Dwarf Flammee. This will involve a bit of growing out, back crossing, and then selection in subsequent generations.
I'm also going to grow out some true potato seed. Due to a quirk of potato genetics,(most cultivated potatoes are tetraploid rather than diploid - they have an extra set of chromosomes) if a potato plant flowers, gets pollinated, and sets a fruit with viable seed, it will produce a range of different offspring, even if it pollinates itself.
One of my potatoes - Pink Eye, a Tasmanian favourite - has set quite a few fruit, so with luck, I will get some viable seed, which will produce little tubers, which I can plant out to get a crop, and then test for eating qualities. Ah, the patience of a plant breeder...

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