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Messages - Gilbert Fritz

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Yes, I planted them mixed. The second largest may well be domestic. Neither tasted that great, not bad, but not good enough to eat the whole thing. I just ate a few scoops from each.

I'm almost certain the big one is partly citron, due to the patterns and pale flesh.

Second largest.


Here is the big melon.

Plant Breeding / Recessive traits in outbreeding landraces.
« on: 2018-11-13, 10:12:33 AM »
One great thing about landrace breeding, from my point, is the time savings. Instead of trying out hundreds of combinations through hand pollination and careful records, the bees do most of the work.

However, one thing I'm wondering about is how to remove undesirable recessive traits from a strongly outcrossing landrace. Assuming that one copy of the gene does not impact the vigor of the plants, mere rouging of visible recessives would still end up with a large percentage of recessives in the next generation, particularly if the full recessives flower before they are eliminated.

Of course, if the recessive trait is merely low vigor or fruiting, more seeds can be planted to compensate. But what if the recessive is connected to poor fruit quality, poor storage, or some other important quality?

Is there any way to eliminate such a quality short of going through the hassle and genetic bottlenecking of sibling selection?

This thread got my attention: It is about the nitrogen fixing capabilities of plants other than legumes, in cooperation with cyanobacteria, and the possibility of developing strains that cooperate with different species of plants.

I'm sure we are all selecting for this sort of thing in an unfocused way, if we use landraces and low inputs.

However, let's say one wanted to breed the plants and bacteria together in a focused way, as a sort of speeded-up coevolution, that could then be shared with other farmers and gardeners in the form of seeds and inoculant.

How would one proceed?

Plant Breeding / Re: High Outcrossing Peas (Pisum Sativum)
« on: 2018-11-09, 05:28:03 PM »
Mechanical sterility, exserted pistils

Structurally sterile due to protruding pistil, petals not extending fully, carpels larger, styles shorter, filaments and petals crumpled.

I assume these peas are only sterile if there are no other varieties around, in other words functionally self-incompatible rather that sterile?

So if they were planted with ordinary peas, they'd cross with them. And any of the offspring that expressed these traits would cross with one another?

I would guess that if they came with the liability of lower production due to low fertility, these traits would fade out of a landrace once they'd done their job.

Plant Breeding / Re: overwintering pea breeding
« on: 2018-11-08, 06:24:58 PM »
If anyone is interested in collaborating on a high-outcrossing pea project i have two separate germplasm pea varieties i have collected that may do the trick in higher natural out crossings. PM me or start a new thread if you want to talk about that. It was originally inspired by Joseph wanting true landrace peas.

Please start a thread on this! I'm interested in getting peas to outcross.

Plant Breeding / Re: overwintering pea breeding
« on: 2018-11-08, 09:58:32 AM »
Thanks for the advice and comments everyone!

I'm glad to hear that some of you have had luck with overwintering peas. Denver weather is erratic, but I've found that in sunny locations the ground does not freeze deeply most years. Also, one advantage to sowing them into a perennial field would be that the dead grasses should provide quite a bit of mulch.

Brian, I've never grown Austrian winter peas; what are they like? Are the "bio-master" peas edible, or solely for biomass? I'd be happy to collaborate, and I'll have seed to swap if any of these plants make it through the winter. Some of them may be hybrid, yielding even more genetic diversity. Remind me on this thread next spring if I forget.

Besides my goal of a low input dry legume crop, I think overwintering peas for fresh eating would be a good idea here, to beat the hot weather.

Plant Breeding / Re: Toxins in squash
« on: 2018-11-07, 10:15:39 AM »

Plant Breeding / Toxins in squash
« on: 2018-11-07, 10:12:57 AM »
Since I'm doing some breeding with wild squash family plants, I've got a question about toxins. I know cucurbitacins are bitter, and thus can be detected and eliminated easily. Are there other, less noticeable toxins to worry about in squash? 

Is this article substantially correct? I'd have to wonder why the people described in it who got poisoned ate the bitter curbits! Then again, I've found that there's an odd idea floating around that bitter things are good for you; which is true in some cases, but could lead to trouble.

Community & Forum Building / OSSI website
« on: 2018-11-07, 10:07:42 AM »
Will the OSSI website eventually promote this forum?

Plant Breeding / overwintering pea breeding
« on: 2018-11-07, 10:06:56 AM »
In September, I planted out 13 types of peas, most of them from Andrew Barney. So far, they've survived the erratic Colorado Fall weather, warm sunny periods alternating with cold and snow. There is a range of sizes, from one two three inches, and a striking diversity of leaf and plant shape. A few got nibbled by a rabbit, but I've been using animal repellent liberally. I put some Red Russian Kale in the rows as contrast; if it does not survive the winter, we'll know things were really bad.

Colorado weather is harsh on overwintering plants due to midwinter heat and sudden cold snaps. But I think that if peas could overwinter, they would be able to optimally utilize our spring moisture, thus needing little irrigation.

This is the first step in breeding pasture crop peas; eventually, I hope to have a landrace that can be oversown on a warm weather pasture in September, overwinter, grow quickly in the spring, and dry down for harvest as the warm weather perennial grasses and legumes take over in June and July. Ideally, the peas would be alternated with rye or winter wheat.

Pasture cropping has been somewhat successful in Australia, but I have not been able to find any examples in the USA; quite a bit of breeding and experimentation may be needed.

Hello Andrew and others,

I chopped open the first few of my citron/ watermelons. The largest was 24 pounds and nearly spherical. It had the cloud-like citron patterns on it. On the inside, it had pale yellow flesh, tan seeds with the larger end dark brown, and a very thick rind. It was a bit more solid than a standard melon. The taste was not bad, but not very interesting, sweet but bland. It was also a little grainy.

I'll post more on the other melons as I cut them open and pictures as I get time.

These plants had been very neglected; no fertilizer, no weeding, and late planting.

Plant Breeding / Re: Diploid Ipomoea Breeding
« on: 2018-10-27, 05:14:31 PM »
I'm interested in this. I grew two American native tuberous Ipomoea this year, I. lacunosa and I. leptophylla. Only the former grew well, but I didn't see any tubers on the roots. I've been trying in vain to find seeds for I. costata in the USA. Another American species that has a large (somewhat) edible tuber is I. pandurata. There is much confusion as to the actual edibility and palatability of all the American species.

Watching bindweed strangle my gardens, I've always had dreams of an edible version!

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