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Messages - Klaus Brugger

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Blogs & Media / Re: Upcoming Online Events
« on: 2022-04-22, 02:41:53 PM »
Jack sent an OSSI email about some zooms coming up.

Thank you very much for sharing! It would be cool if these events were promoted more widely.

Here's another exciting event:
June 6, 2022 – June 8, 2022
CBN x OSA California Variety Showcase
Free online event with talks about celtuce, dry beans, tomatoes, onions, squash, miner’s lettuce, and more.

Plant Breeding / Re: Carrot Breeding
« on: 2022-04-04, 02:02:37 AM »
Here are some additional resources for the webinar/for carrot breeding in general:

Blogs & Media / Re: Upcoming Online Events
« on: 2022-03-18, 02:52:13 PM »
Next one:

27th May 2022
Improving tomato flavor using biochemical, genomic and breeding tools
Online seminar with Denise Tieman as part of the SOL Seminars series.

Blogs & Media / Upcoming Online Events
« on: 2022-03-15, 02:08:45 PM »
Especially since 2020, numerous plant-breeding-related events have been held online, many of them free of charge. Workshops, presentations, conferences, even field days.
I think it would be cool to have a thread were we share information about upcoming online events.
I'll start.

25th March 2022

Breeding Carrots for Production, Resilience, Flavor, and Fun in Organic Systems
Free workshop organized by Organic Seed Alliance and eOrganic with very cool presenters.

Plant Breeding / Re: Radish Genetics Demystified?
« on: 2022-03-05, 08:08:41 AM »
Very interesting topic!

I've tried to find some information about the inheritance of flesh color a while ago. There are some Chinese papers like Zhang (2006) or Lv et al. (2015), but I cannot find or access all of them.
Chen et al. (2016) have found higher expression levels of a few genes in intensely red radish.

One thing I think we have to consider is that modes of inheritance might not be the same in all cross combinations. Radish seems to have been domesticated at least three times with small European radishes and black radishes apparently being of different origin, having quite different cytoplasms (see Yamane et. al, 2009 and Li et al., 2021). This might be an explanation why Dan Brisebois had purple flesh in his black × watermelon radish F1 but my purple small × watermelon radish F1 didn’t show any anthocyanin in the flesh.

I must say I have very little personal experience (or theoretical knowledge!) with yellow radishes, so please don’t give the following thoughts too much weight … 
I’m not sure what actually causes the yellow color. It seems to be associated with a certain structure of the skin, not unlike the black color. In fact, I wonder if yellow, brown, grey and black might essentially be the same character. Take, for example, a brownish cultivar like the open-pollinated German 'Fetzers Maindreieck' (picture). To me, it looks somewhat like an intermediate between yellow and black.
The yellow color of radishes seems to be different from the yellow color of turnips, where yellow-skinned bulbs can have a quite intensely yellow flesh too. Maybe I’ll cross a black and a yellow turnip this year. Of course, radish and turnip are also somewhat crossable. And maybe introducing genes from yellow-flowering Raphanus raphinistrum into cultivated radish would be interesting, too.
The plants on the NYC farmer’s market look like beets to me (as has already been mentioned in the other thread), with a nice combination of different betalains ('Touchstone Gold' looks similar). However, I think an orange radish (a yellowish structure on top of a red or pink cortex …) is a very interesting breeding goal.
By the way, I just found a cool paper by Chen et al. (2021) where they show that anthocyanin accumulation may be enhanced by inducing tetraploidy. White tetraploid radishes of cultivar 'Rex' are commonly grown in home gardens, so tetraploidy definitely works for vegetable radishes.


Chen, F. B., Xing, C. Y., Huo, S. P., Cao, C. L., Yao, Q. L. & Fang, P. (2016). Red Pigment Content and Expression of Genes Related to Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Radishes (Raphanus sativus L.) with Different Colored Flesh. Journal of Agricultural Science, 8(8), 126-135.
Chen, F., Gao, J., Li, W., Liu, Y., Fang, P., & Peng, Z. (2021). Colchicine-induced tetraploidy influences morphological and cytological characteristics and enhances accumulation of anthocyanins in a red-fleshed radish (Raphanus sativus L.). Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology, 62(6), 937–948.
Li X, Wang J, Qiu Y, Wang H, Wang P, Zhang X, Li C, Song J, Gui W, Shen D, Yang W, Cai B, Liu L, Li X. SSR-Sequencing Reveals the Inter- and Intraspecific Genetic Variation and Phylogenetic Relationships among an Extensive Collection of Radish (Raphanus) Germplasm Resources. Biology. 2021; 10(12):1250.
Lv, F. S., Tao, H. Y., Tan, G. X., & Zeng, X. X. (2015). The characteristics of parents and seed production techniques of red radish “Yanzhihongyihao”. Shanxi Agricultural Science, 61, 122-123.
Yamane, K., Lü, N., & Ohnishi, O. (2009). Multiple origins and high genetic diversity of cultivated radish inferred from polymorphism in chloroplast simple sequence repeats. Breeding Science, 59, 55-65.
Zhang, L (2006). Inheritance of main botanical characters in radish (Raphanus sativus L.). China Vegetables, 10, 10-12.

Legumes / Re: Are pink-podded peas possible?
« on: 2022-01-30, 12:11:39 PM »
I think I've already posted this on another thread: Michael Mazourek and Johanna Keigler (Cornell Universtiy) had a presentation about their pea breeding and pea biochemistry in general on the Culinary Breeding Network's YouTube channel (as part of the 2021 CBN Variety Showcase), where they also showed a picture of bb pink on yellow (among other combinations):

And here's a picture I took in the Arche Noah visitor's garden in Austria last year. It's progeny of one of a few purple × yellow crosses my colleagues made some years ago, not stable yet. It shows that a purple anthocyanin blush on a yellow background can appear quite pinkish.

Are you still breeding for spring?

Sorry for the late answer. Yes, I'm still breeding for spring. I pollinated a selection of 'Saxa 3', a quick, short-leafed forcing radish, with the small red-fleshed 'Red Meat' × 'Malaga' F2 plant I've posted earlier.
I grew out a few hundred plants in autumn and most of them already looked much like a spring radish. I selected about 60 plants with mostly short leaves for 2022 seed production. What I had not expected was that some plants (I only took a few samples) showed a thick anthocyanin-colored cortex (I hope "cortex" is anatomically correct) even though they have a full chromosome set (and the cytoplasm) of 'Saxa 3'. My original watermelon × spring cross didn't do that (or maybe I didn't grow enough plants). Some tubers, again, have a greenish flesh.

The spring radish project is the most concrete with a clear breeding goal. However, I also did some pollinations with my 'Red Meat' × 'Malaga' F2 on 'Green Meat' (and vice versa) because I'd really like to work more with green color. Even though being a hybrid variety, 'Green Meat' had normally developed flowers with apparently viable pollen (so no CMS, I guess).  The resulting generation had much less green than I had expected and I selected a few tubers that showed no green at all because I liked their anthocyanin coloration. I've also kept a few 'Red Meat' × 'Malaga' F3 plants.

Here are some pictures:
1) spring population collage (scroll right if you're on a mobile device)
2) crosses with 'Green Meat': selected tubers
3) watermelon × spring F3: my favorite tuber

Cucurbits / Re: Green-Fleshed Guatemalan
« on: 2021-10-04, 01:55:52 PM »
So I Googled up a number for a ripe squash from pollination. 45 days. [...]

Brent Loy writes that the embryo has largely filled the seed coat cavity by day 35 but that seed fill continues until about day 55:

But seed development will continue in picked immature fruit, so I hope that you'll get a good number of viable (if not fully filled) seeds!

Legumes / Re: Peas 2021
« on: 2021-08-01, 04:59:02 AM »
I only remove the keel but keep the standard and wings for protection (see page 4 here:
When heavy rains were to be expected, I've sometimes additionally used sticky tape, something I once saw recommended as a standard practice for common bean crosses.
I only pollinate once, then I close the flower and leave it alone.

Good thread!

"Landrace" is also genebank terminology. The FAO/Bioversity list of Multi-Crop Passport Descriptors includes a descriptor called Biological status of accession.
One of the values to choose from is "Traditional cultivar/landrace". I think the options they give for this descriptor give a good overview about different statuses material can have.

On a side note, with the new EU Organic Regulation (2018/848), a new legal term was introduced as a seed category in the European Union: organic heterogeneous material (OHM). I still don't fully understand the complete definition, but among other things, OHM

"... is characterised by a high level of genetic and phenotypic diversity between individual reproductive units, so that that plant grouping is represented by the material as a whole, and not by a small number of units"

I kind of like that sentence.

Tomatoes / Re: Xenia Effect in Tomato Seeds
« on: 2021-05-07, 02:10:32 PM »
Here's a picture I made a couple of years ago from seeds that grew on one S. lycopersicum plant: The ones on the left are from pollinations with S. habrochaites pollen, the ones on the right are from open pollination. I'm not sure though if this can really be considered "classical" xenia as within one species. The seeds of course might not be perfectly developed due to a certain degree of incompatibility between the species/genotypes. The hybrid plants, however, were quite vigorous, not really showing pronounced "outbreeding depressing" (other than probably reduced fertility).
Posting the picture didn't work for me (I don't know why, others don't seem to have any problem right now), so here's a link:

Cucurbits / Re: Cucurbita moschata × C. pepo
« on: 2021-05-01, 01:59:11 AM »
Very quick update:

The BC1 plants were very late to set fruits and I was not able to get any viable seeds from them. I cannot tell whether this was because of the immaturity alone or also because of fertility issues.
Even though I've reached a dead end know, I still think there is great potential to moschata × pepo hybrids and their progeny, and this particular cross specifically. 'Kogigu' produced viable interspecific hybrid seeds not only when pollinated with JBL × TP F1 but also when pollinated with pure 'Tonda Padana'. This leads me to think that 'Kogigu' might be a remarkably good female parent for crosses with pepo.

Plant Breeding / Re: Landrace soy beans
« on: 2021-03-21, 09:19:06 AM »
Manually crossing cultivated material probably won't increase "promiscuity" but it will create genetic variation, of course. The flowers are small, but it can be done with tweezers and maybe magnifying glasses.
Like Jeremy Weiss, I wouldn't include wild material in a population you want you use right away. As for shattering, it's my impression that edamame varieties are much more prone to it than modern "dry soybean" varieties. Maybe that's also because you want the cooked edamame to pop open easily.

Plant Breeding / Re: Landrace soy beans
« on: 2021-03-21, 08:02:51 AM »
I think it's also worth noting that cultivated soybeans (Glycine max) are rather strictly self-pollinating with very low outcrossing rates. A soybean landrace would therefore end up as basically being a mixture of inbred lines. So when starting a landrace, I would maybe include manually crossed seeds at first to really get the diversity going.

Wild soybeans (Glycine soja) may have a higher outcrossing rate – around 13%(Fujita et al. 1997*) – so as a long-term project one could include wild material for a "moderately promiscuous" (;)) soybean landrace in the spirit of Joseph's promiscuous tomatoes.   

*R. Fujita, M. Ohara, K. Okazaki, Y. Shimamoto, The Extent of Natural Cross-Pollination in Wild Soybean (Glycine soja), Journal of Heredity, Volume 88, Issue 2, March/April 1997, Pages 124–128,

Seed Saving / Re: Germinating super old seeds
« on: 2021-03-20, 04:30:42 AM »
I'd be careful when using H2O2 on really old seeds. After all, in seed aging, oxidative damage plays a big role, so you're already dealing with e. g. rather fragile membranes. This is why when treating old seeds with H2O2 to increase oxygen bioavailabilty, Liu et al. (2012)* used a Calcium source to protect membranes. And they weren't even working with really old seeds (max. 6 years).

*Liu, G., Porterfield, D., Li, Y., & Klassen, W. (2012). Increased Oxygen Bioavailability Improved Vigor and Germination of Aged Vegetable Seeds, HortScience horts, 47(12), 1714-1721. Retrieved Mar 20, 2021, from

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