So, plant breeding? Wasting water in the shower a few days ago my mind drifted to new vegetable breeding projects. With my purple snow project well advanced, I was musing on possibilities when I recalled some of my suspended projects. In 2011 I crossed Sugarsnap Bush with Purple Podded. After a few intermittent growouts, I got two lines of purple thick podded (snap) tall peas, that unfortunately seemed to have fibre. I was contemplating crossing these back to the original Sugarsnap parent, but that would mean extensive growouts to re-find the three purple genes again so I put the project on hold.
But in the shower I had a lightbulb moment - why not cross the fibrous purple snaps to my now stable low fibre purple snows? The low fibre genes from the purple snows could be carried across to the snaps, the hard to catch dominant purple genes would be present in both parents so would be stable, and the recessive thick pod gene from the snaps wouldn't be too hard to recover. Genius.
I had been compartmentalising the projects - thinking of them as separate projects, when much of the work done in each could complement the other. A quick look through the record book confirmed my thoughts. Luckily I had kept well-labelled bags of all the stages of each breeding program, so finding the correct parents was only a matter of going through the various slightly disorganised plastic tubs in the seed fridges (yes, I now own two dedicated bar fridges for seed storage), and extracted the parents.
Ten seeds each of 4 purple snap siblings, and one selected tall purple snowpea are now soaking on the bench. With luck I will be able to grow these out over winter in the greenhouse, perform some crosses, and get F1 seed for a late spring growout. This would give me F2 seed to recover full purple fiberless snaps in Autumn 2016.
An added bonus is the slight possibility of getting large pods into a sugar snap pea.