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Messages - Steve1

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Hi Reed,
Yes, years in the same pots. These were extras planned to be planted out somewhere I imagine, but for whatever reason sat there in the tunnel until the poor plants were completely potbound. These were not drought stressed as they were irrigated regularly. There is only a frost every few years here, and these were more than happy overwintering in the tunnel. Actually, they overwinter in the ground ok here too, except the rodents get into them. 

I don't think seed import will be feasible, but have asked the question.


Plant Breeding / Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« on: 2019-06-10, 07:07:51 AM »
Add Jerusalem Artichoke (Hellianthus tuberosus) to that list. Used in China for medicinal and other uses. Can be grown with 25-50% seawater dilution. I have been told that pickling the roots is a tasty way to eat it. 


It sounds promising that you have had flowers in the past Steve.

Yes, there were three varieties flowering simulatanously when I had a crack three or four years ago. The main problem was it was June/July when I got to attempted pollinations. Probably too cold. The plants were in 6 inch pots and had been neglected for a few years and potbound. Of the three varieties, something like 8/12 plants were in flower. Its a hunch that when the plants get pot bound and neglected (no fertilizer) they direct energy to flowering.
One of the lines flowers mid winter from slips in a heated glasshouse.
I reckon there is almost certainly enough genetic variation in his lines for seed.
Offer still stands for those Aussies wanting some germplasm. I dont think I can send them across the ditch?

Hi All,
Well done Richard and Reed.
For the Australians (Gregg, Raymondo and others as well) who are sweet potato cultivar poor and want to have a go, send me a PM. A mate has been collecting them for a number of years. Some he got from the Queensland sweet potato repository. I'm going to hit him up for samples of as many as I can get, he grows large amounts - so I should be able to sort small tubers without any problems. He's keen for some people to work on this too.
I did have a crack at some hand pollinations 3 or 4 years ago on some of his varieties, but it was in Autumn and was likely to cold and wet and I had no success. I was playing with 3 or 4 CV's at that time.
I'm going to get cracking on this come summer too now I have space.


Sorry have been a bit busy for the last week - but thanks Joseph, Reed and Carol for your thoughts.
Those QTL papers were interesting Joseph, and certainly pointed to a number of genes influencing daylight sensitivity. Interesting too, that in one paper they attributed 40% of the effect to one QTL.
I found this paper on teosinte x maize photosensitivity from (1950). My guess is that its probably relevant as the source of photosensitivity genes in most tropical maize. It's probably of interest to you Reed.

It appears to me from the graphs there was significant variation in the photoperiod response of the F1 and F2 depending on the type of teosinte used (which makes sense seeing some types of teosinte flowered between 105 days and 204 days).
The good news is the crosses showed much shorter times to flowering in the F1 than the teosinte parent (50-110 days), which should make it workable. The F2 was more complex sometimes with an early peak, sometimes not. That is still workable though.

On to the flint cooking characteristics, thankyou Carol for your thoughts and time. I have read The Resilient Gardener, and had noted your explanation of how the different flint / flour parts of the endosperm cook. What I hadn't grasped or understood was the quick cooking maize was an extreme flint in association with the soft pericarp and kernal attachment.
In Australia I have only come across Glass Gem as an extreme flint. Everything else is at least as much flour as flint. Unfortunately I don't think any of your flints have been imported (and lets just say its not easy), and I've dredged the Australian Grains Genebank database and not flound any of those Indian corn flints you mentioned.

I have somewhere to work from though now. I think I'll be mixing up a large bucket of water and sugar come spring, get the specific gravity to the flint / extreme flint scale and see what sinks.
I had been toying with bucket testing a large sample of Painted Mountain for rogue flint genetics - has anyone struck any flint in their Painted Mountain? 

Hi all, I've been doing some maize crosses over summer (and am still working on some at the moment) and have managed some short day maize crosses to Painted Mountain x sweet F1 and Glass Gem. Does anyone have any insight into the genetic control of short day length in maize? Did your F1's, F2's display this short day trait or was there segregatiion?

Secondly, the cooking time of flints for polenta - does anyone understand what makes a flint corn cook more quickly? Is it more flinty endosperm or another factor entirely? Any thoughts appreciated.


Plant Breeding / Re: Fava breeding
« on: 2019-04-23, 06:12:19 AM »
Do they eat them while they are still frozen?

Oh yes, frozen solid. They aren't bad actually. Had to try them myself just to see. The flavors are less pronounced but nonetheless still broad beany.

Plant Breeding / Re: Fava breeding
« on: 2019-04-22, 06:24:50 PM »
Another trait worth looking out for is this thin skin trait. No need to peel. Like Ray I tend to use favas dry and make ful medame which is a traditional middle eastern dip served with fresh still warm flat bread.
Egyptian is the variety I mostly grow for this and also has the thin skin trait.
My kids believe it or not love raw frozen favas and peas.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« on: 2019-04-09, 06:16:09 AM »
Hi Gregg,
Here's a more thorough review of salinity in peas, however it is restricted to sativum.
It's only for those that like to wade through a thesis. Accessions covered are landraces and local Oz field peas for the most part.

I'll get you the fulvum data soon, both last years and this years - as we have a second accession getting the same treatment at the moment.
Did you consider maybe as an aside partial desal with reverse osmosis? Not the cheapest option - but if you arent trying to remove all the salt it might be viable. Just a thought.

Tomatoes / Re: Paste Tomatoes Project
« on: 2019-04-01, 08:14:04 AM »
Hi Natasha,
as GM pointed out - water is what most farmers want to sell, solids is what we want for paste.
You could do wet / dry weights on a number of varieties if you had a dehydrator, or another avenue is to look around for commercial soup varieties - tomato soup canneries do not want water either.
Though they are likely to be determinate, but might be sources of useful genes in your project.
Good luck.

Plant Breeding / Re: Salt tolerant varieties
« on: 2019-04-01, 07:45:24 AM »
Hi Gregg,
As far as peas - I remember that one accession of P.fulvum we had did well with salt, as measured (from memory with non significant difference) of root and shoot growth with controls. It performed far better than the local field peas.
It's tricky in the crossing department though. I'll see if I can dig up the graphs from that torture session and if I can get permission post it here for you. 
There are accessions of tepary beans that are salt tolerant - of the three I have I might have data early next year.
I havent seen anyone with germplasm of wild species tomatos - but there's someone I know that might.
I'd lean toward trying any of the vegetable varieties that are listed as drought tolerant - in particular American Indian (Hopi and other) veges. The osmotic adjustment is the same physiological process.

I have used sugar/water mixes for separating different kinds of sweet corn. It seems to have worked well. Sugar is more soluble in water, so I found it easier to work with.

Hadn't considered sugar! What genes were you differentiating? se and su?
Here is one of the papers relating to this.


Mike,  In my experience it is extremely easy to remove dent and flint characteristics from flour corn mixed populations by visually selecting them as long as you have pericarp that is clear enough to see the endosperm.  With opaque pericarp colors you can still eliminate visibly "denty" phenotypes but getting rid of flinty endosperm is pretty hard unless you start hand pollinating and selfing, which is upping the labor intensiveness of the breeding work quite a bit.  In my own white flour grex I have included Caribbean flints which were very flinty, as well as Tuxpeño which is a pretty classic dent, and Coroico/Pirincinco which had flinty/denty/and floury all mixed together.  My procedure is to de-tassel for two years and then visually select for the visibly flouriest kernels in the F2 ears that have made the cut for other agronomic characters like standability, NLB resistance etc.  The F2 selected seed is added to the grex and allowed to pollinate and be selected with the mass population.

My personal approach has been to do everything I can to eliminate pericarp and aleurone colors from my populations so I can visually select endosperm character to select individual kernels within an individual ear.  It really depends on your goal for the corn though.  Pericarp and aleurone color is really useful for an ornamental corn like reed is building.  For my own uses the colors don't add anything I need, and prevent me from selecting my corn the way I want to as well as interfering with nixtamalization.

Just wondering has anyone used salt/water mixes for seperating flint and flour corns? I came across a paper a while ago (purple polenta maybe?) that demonstrated a linear relationship between kernal density and flint flour type - which seems obvious enough. Flints sank and flours floated in a given concentration of salt solution. Would be quick and dirty, be independant of pericarp/aluerone colour and perhaps kill two birds with one stone. Could also allow you to exclude extreme flints if that was your goal.

Any thoughts appreciated as in Australia we have only a few flints and a couple of projects I'm gearing up to do are going to have to include flour corns.

Hi Reed,
I understand your position. Eliminating disease is probably impossible. If new diseases come you have to deal with it. But if you import new pathogens / or races it increases the speed of the treadmill we are already on finding R genes and then trying to add them in to our varieties.
Mind you exposing the same vertical R gene to the same pathogen year after year (especially if it's aggressive) over large areas leads to extreme selection pressure and eventual R gene collapse. Wheat rust R genes in Australia have lasted on average ~ 4 years since 1900. Fortunately for wheat there are a lot of R genes to be had across the related wild species.
That is not generally the case for most other crops.

Plant Breeding / Re: Ray’s breeding projects
« on: 2019-02-22, 06:47:46 AM »
Hi Ray, sorry it hsan't been a good year for you landrace wise.
I've been putting some flints aside for projects.
PM me and I will get you some.



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