Author Topic: Blighty Toms  (Read 408 times)

PaulJ

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Blighty Toms
« on: 2018-12-29, 05:02:26 AM »
This will be my tomato thread, I am aiming for a blight resistant landrace inspired by Joseph

June 2018, 50 packets of mixed heirloom tomato seeds were surface scattered on two 3' x 9' beds. they were watered only twice (during the germination period as it was a heatwave)
They were never fed

The strongest plants overtook the weak and filled out the beds very nicely, the stragglers were then culled
The end result was a mass selection for blight and yes, it really did with this extremely tight planting
hundreds of plants in a few square feet and no thinning.

Edit to add: one was even quite tasty

A couple of plants were ripe before the blight finished them off. (the project got a late start)
Joy I got 9 tomatoes of different types, no idea if any crossing took place, I can hope.

https://ibb.co/zNQM9Xv
https://ibb.co/vD7hT0X
https://ibb.co/rpP0NWh
« Last Edit: 2018-12-29, 05:04:45 AM by PaulJ »

William S.

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #1 on: 2018-12-29, 09:51:17 AM »
If you can find even one tomato with an exserted stigma to add to your grex it will increase natural crosses. Beefsteaks sometimes do this with early flowers. The resulting fruits are large and mishappen and should be saved for seed if hoping for crosses (though this is advice someone gave me). Also supposedly some of the older potato leaved varieties are exserted.

I found three exserted varieties in my 2017 garden and crosses from them in my 2018 garden and added Joseph's Big Hill. 
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PaulJ

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #2 on: 2018-12-29, 10:29:31 AM »
OK I will look for them next year, I realise all I have probably done this year is selected for vigour. There was a couple potato leaf and a few beef, and I did see a few open flowers but not sure if they made it. I did plan to hand pollinate but it never ended up happening.

The early beef double/twin flowers I always reject tbh Ill save some seed next season.
All the 2018 rejects got left to rot in place so there should be many volunteers to sift through too.

Do you happen to know which varieties did well/had exserted stigma for you?
Does exserted stigma just mean it sticks out but the flower is still closed or is that the proper way of saying open flower/sepals?

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #3 on: 2018-12-29, 10:36:44 AM »
You mean you left all the blighted plants in place to re-infect plants next season?
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

William S.

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #4 on: 2018-12-29, 10:48:41 AM »
It means the female part sticks out!

I found about 4/5 of the flowers of the variety Blue Ambrosia to be strongly  to weakly exserted, the variety Matina to be weakly exserted, the  F1 varieties sungold and sunsugar to be exserted under some environmental conditions, amethyst jewel is slightly exserted, and Big Hill has open flowers. I also found a Joseph Loft house land race tomato with potato leaves and exserted stigma. It produced two hybrids for me in 2018's grow out. I haven't recovered a hybrid yet from any other weakly exserted ones. I got plentiful hybrids from Blue Ambrosia. Also Solanum habrochaites, Solanum penellii, and Solanum Peruvianum are exserted but that's a little beside the point because the first two the pollen must come from the wild species and the third tends to require some embryo rescue for a successful cross.

With you being in the UK I am not sure what's available there. Or what you are willing to consider.

A blight resistant hybrid is a good source of blight resistance genes and is an automatic start to a segregating population. Very appropriate to add to a landrace.

Wild species can have high levels of resistance. They can be extremely long term breeding projects. Compared to a typical length tomato breeding project.

I will say though, without some crossing happening there isn't going to be significant variation for selection to work on. Which is why I am so interested in the exserted trait in my garden. It facilitates natural crossing- which I learned from Josephs postings in various places online.

I tried in 2017 to plant lots of varieties extremely close together. This should result in a low rate of crossing even with normal varieties but I haven't yet detected a cross with closed flowered varieties.

I think it's nice to have some varieties where crossing is obvious to you. Yellow tomatoes that turn red in a subsequent generations are hybrids. Potato leaf tomatoes that turn regular leaf from saved seed are hybrids. Normal tomatoes that develop blue skin in subsequent generations are also hybrids. Or seeds that got in the wrong packet by gardener error!
« Last Edit: 2018-12-29, 11:04:54 AM by William S. »
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Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #5 on: 2018-12-29, 11:04:46 AM »
There are a few different ways that a tomato flower can be more promiscuous...

The style can be exerted, so that the stigma is exposed.


The anthers can be disconnected from each other, exposing the stigma.


The anther cone can be closed, but the opening around the style is wide and loose.


Flower petals can be huge to attract more pollinators.


Sometimes the sepals can be arranged akin to a spike phalanx which discourages pollinators.


The flower can release clouds of pollen.


Flowers can be displayed in huge clumps, high above the foliage to attract pollinators.


Flowers can be more brightly colored.


Many of these traits may be combined into the same plant.

We could  grow plants that are self-incompatible, so that cross pollination is always 100%. That's the strategy I'm using with my beautifully promiscuous tomato project. With 100% crossing in every generation, it greatly simplifies adaptation to local conditions and blights. I'm using wild tomatoes to recover huge swaths of genetics that were lost by the 3 bottlenecks that were associated with tomato domestication.


Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #6 on: 2018-12-29, 11:12:18 AM »
I'm smiling at how much I underestimated the amount of promiscuity that is possible in the tomato genome...

This is what I imagined was possible at the start of this project...


Here's what I found this summer.


« Last Edit: 2018-12-29, 11:16:03 AM by Joseph Lofthouse »

William S.

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #7 on: 2018-12-29, 11:35:17 AM »
It also interests me that you direct seeded. I do that but not with all varieties as I have a pretty short season about 100 to 130 days frost free depending on the year. I find I can seed 10 to 20 days or so before I expect the last frost. 1 inch high seedlings often survive the last frost. Of those I mentioned Matina, Sungold, and Blue Ambrosia are short enough season for me to direct seed. I plan to direct seed a lot of Joseph's Big Hill in 2019 based in my 2018 transplants I think it's plenty early enough. The earliest varieties are red and don't have open flowers. They work well direct seeded though. Varieties like 42 days, sweet cherriette, jagodka, an more dewdrop, tumbler f1, and forest fire are all small red, ultra short season with closed flowers. I would like to have a colorful, direct seeded, open flowered, blight resistant tomato someday.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #8 on: 2018-12-29, 01:02:47 PM »
I think my question got mixed into the wrong discussion.

Paul, in a couple of postings, wrote this:

A couple of plants were ripe before the blight finished them off.
All the 2018 rejects got left to rot in place

---------------------------

That sounded like he left all the blight-killed plants in the garden, which could be a good way to have the disease carry on to the next season.  Is this so?
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

reed

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #9 on: 2018-12-29, 01:43:04 PM »
I'm not as hooked on the tomato breeding as some, at least not yet but I'v been watching and I'v noticed the types of pollinators they attract. Also the structure of the flowers. Late in fall I guess because flowers in general are becoming scarce bumblebees become very aggressive at tearing into tomato flowers and doing their little buzzzz dance to get pollen.  of course this is too late in the season for anything to come from it.

Earlier in the season if there is even a little split at the base of the cone a number of different micro-bees as well a very small triangular shaped fly are attracted. Lots of my tomatoes including the heirlooms Cherokee Purple and Mr. Stripey as well as some I got from Joseph have flowers open enough to attract the small bees and flies.

I can hardly imagine blight getting any worse than it already is in my garden, has been for years. Still I get harvests sufficient to fill our canning jars each year. Not so many late ones to munch on anymore nor lots of green ones to use for fried tomatoes when frost threatens.

Diane, to your question
Quote
That sounded like he left all the blight-killed plants in the garden, which could be a good way to have the disease carry on to the next season.  Is this so?
I did experiments planting tomatoes in completely new places where noting resembling a tomato ever grew before and found zero difference in how soon and how bad they got blight.  Now I pay no attention at all to disposing of infected vines, they just compost with everything else.
« Last Edit: 2018-12-29, 01:46:40 PM by reed »

William S.

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #10 on: 2018-12-29, 02:01:47 PM »
From reading Carol Deppe's Tao section about tomatoes recently I picked up the idea that the worse blight she is expecting is multiple breeding strains. A lot of the current blight is non breeding so it has to overwinter in the south and come north each year. The breeding strains make more hardy sexually produced spores so they will be endemic to our gardens. Thus in the future blight may arrive earlier having never left. If PaulJ already has that type of blight it will be that his dead vines will reinfest, but it sounded rather like that was intentional.

If so also this could in future invalidate the strategy of using short season varieties to avoid the blight at least in moist climates. Making short season blight tolerant varieties a necessity and to my knowledge none yet exist, however Josephs strategy of crossing say Big Hill with Habrochaites could lead to some. Also so could the strategy Carol suggests of using Iron Lady F1 x (insert your favorite tomato here)
« Last Edit: 2018-12-29, 02:30:56 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

PaulJ

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #11 on: 2018-12-29, 08:26:56 PM »
Wow that is an overwhelming amount of responses  ;D Ill do my best.

Diane, the vines were mostly composted but the remnants were left on the beds with the fruits to see what happens, I was going to distance from them next year, but I think If you want to select for blight resistance you need blight, so I *may deliberately infect early next year or plant in same bed. Not decided yet.

The blight does seem to have ups and downs but it is endemic here, its really not worth worrying about clearing up too much as soon as the humidity is up its here, except greenhouse where disinfectant is suggested but I hate that stuff.
The last 3 years blight has got into my greenhouse and my windowsill kitchen plants
that may be due to my lackadaisical attitude or mutations?

I grew some Sarpo mira pots this year and half were completely unaffected some destroyed and some in between, I did put this down to mixed blight types as they were all grown from clones although I suppose, epigenetics and chance of contagion could account for that

William
Thanks for the ideas on the varieties Ill look into these shortly, I had tried to avoid F1 and added only heirloom to my patch but I can see why you say add hybrids with variability.
I direct seeded as Ive become more and more frustrated by the lengths needed to get plants to start, it did mean no seeding until mid June. harvest around mid Oct so ~4 months season?
3 and a bit in reality
The varieties here Im sure are more adapted to blight resistance anyway but its still hit or miss.

William & Joseph
The plants did show an array of the flower types that Joseph has shown here, so my hopes of a cross are now lifted.
The beef toms first flowers were of the many petals, deformed type (I rejected) I did see some big flowers, anther cones that were fully open and some closed but with open ends and also  some high pollen flowers spilling, the first time ive seen that.
How many got crossed??  :-\
Not so many bees this year (saw 9 total - I counted) but tons of hoverflys/small flyers which I think will help. I just ordered a load of flower seeds for the bees as its getting bad here as a side note. They enjoyed the borage this season.
Reed am about to look up micro-bees

Joseph that plant with big flower clusters is impressive very pretty tom. the pictures really do help solidify those types in my mind.

« Last Edit: 2018-12-29, 08:28:47 PM by PaulJ »

nathanp

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #12 on: 2019-01-04, 04:47:54 AM »
From reading Carol Deppe's Tao section about tomatoes recently I picked up the idea that the worse blight she is expecting is multiple breeding strains. A lot of the current blight is non breeding so it has to overwinter in the south and come north each year. The breeding strains make more hardy sexually produced spores so they will be endemic to our gardens. Thus in the future blight may arrive earlier having never left. If PaulJ already has that type of blight it will be that his dead vines will reinfest, but it sounded rather like that was intentional.

Yes, exactly.  Both the A1 and A2 types are now present in the US, after only the  A2 type being present previously.  Upstate NY was one of two locations in the US to see the A1 mating type (European strain 25) last year, which means it is probably inevitable that it will begin to overwinter in the northern US sometime in the foreseeable future.  That means gene recombination annually at some point, and new strains

http://tioga.cce.cornell.edu/gardening/pests-ipm/late-blight-update

PaulJ

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Re: Blighty Toms
« Reply #13 on: 2019-05-04, 12:07:43 PM »
None of last years seed has made an appearance as yet
Will wait and see its still pretty cold with warm spells