Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)  (Read 4774 times)

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #120 on: 2019-10-01, 01:09:36 AM »
Sounds like youve had a good year overall. Now its my turn again, looking a my clones today, putting out new leaves but no sign of flowers though.

Yep, I'm pretty pleased, the most seeds I'v ever seen.  Most excited about those from the new varieties and the two volunteers. I may post again about them when I see what kind of roots they made but officially handing the 2019 sweet potato torch off to you. 

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #121 on: 2019-10-01, 09:29:20 AM »
The clump roots are great if you're planting for food. I'm keeping the commercial varieties for soil modification, so I want their roots to go down deep and spread out. :) The others will be for food once I start getting seeds.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #122 on: 2019-10-03, 04:08:03 AM »
I never thought about using them for soil conditioning, the variety Beauregard might be good for that, it makes what we call clunkers. Big giant things that are hard to find and harder to dig up.

I'v been thinking more about the compatibility issue with sweet potatoes. I'm gonna have to solve or at least understand that. I'v got them that make sizable roots and seed from seed in a fairly short season, not 90 days yet as is my goal but pretty close. I'v seen increase in germination in poor conditions from 4 or 5% at first to 50% or higher but the compatibility thing keeps popping up  as an issue.

I know they are not always self-incompatible as commonly believed but I also know the offspring of a self compatible parent isn't  necessarily self compatible too. I suspect and research indicates their are cases where they are cross compatible only in specific ways. This particular one with that particular one, or this one as mother but not father.

Some of course don't bloom at all, some bloom lots but don't make seeds, they worry me the most. Do they pass that on by contributing pollen to others? Heck if I know and I cant' find out with random mass crossing like I'v been doing.

Whether I like it or not and I don't, I guess I'm gonna have to do multiple controlled grow outs in isolation with all the documenting that goes with it. I hate that kind of stuff, not sure I'm up to it. One alternative is just to always keep backup of lots of seeds knowing for sure good stuff is in there even if bad stuff might also be. 
« Last Edit: 2019-10-03, 04:09:50 AM by reed »

Lauren

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #123 on: 2019-10-03, 06:56:36 PM »
Possibility: Once you have the other primary criteria settled (as much as possible) do a single mass planting with proven clones and take the spent blossoms off all but the plant you want to be the mother. Use clones that have proven to be your best bloomers. If no seeds by the end of the season, discard the mother.

Get rid of everything that doesn't set seed.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #124 on: 2019-10-13, 09:57:21 AM »
I'v started some experiments with grafting sweet potatoes on to I pandurata roots to see what happens. It's actually going better that I expected, I wrote about it on my pandurata thread. Now I'v got another goofy idea.

If you look up how to store sweet potatoes, specifically concerning temperature you might find something like this
Quote
Refrigeration changes the structure of the cell walls of sweet potatoes, making them harder to break down. As a result, refrigerated sweet potatoes can remain hard in the middle and take longer to cook. Instead, store your sweet potatoes at cool room temperature, preferably in a dark place away from light


Then there is this thing called epigenetics
Quote
the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.
Other folks have mentioned this but I very little knowledge about it but maybe it can be triggered by environmental factors?

So if cold storage makes changes to cell walls, and sweet potatoes are prone to mutation anyway. I'm gonna find out what happens if a root is stored all winter in the refrigerator. Maybe it won't even sprout slips next year but if it does....

Both the pandurata grafts and this little side projects are mostly just for fun, main focus is still a reliably seed grown sweet potato.



« Last Edit: 2019-10-13, 11:45:34 AM by reed »

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #125 on: 2019-11-02, 08:39:11 AM »
Reading over on the TPS thread I keep being amazed by the similarities and dissimilarities between TPS and TSPS and I have wondered about some of the same issues they talk about for TPS as related to TSPS. For example Is selecting for seeds detrimental to selecting for production?

But then rereading Nathan's comment about TPS,
Quote
The longer I have been growing out TPS, the more I find I am selecting not for production in their seedling year predominantly, but production when grown from tubers in their 2nd year.
.
I realized another big advantage (for me) is sweet potatoes reveal their production potential in the first year. Roots from seed grown plants are just as big as those from clones IF they have the genes for it. IF they have genes for stringy roots it's easy to just eliminate them immediately instead of waiting another year to find out. Their pollen is still in the overall "landrace" if that's what ya want to call it but I'm fine with that.
« Last Edit: 2019-11-02, 08:42:02 AM by reed »

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #126 on: 2019-11-29, 06:03:43 AM »
I'm thinking next season of shifting gears some on my sweet potatoes. Up till now I've selected some for traits I like but mostly have focused on seeds and not worried about good soil prep. This past year was especially bad with my pots and soil prep having a lot of poorly composted wood chips. They tended to dry out real bad in the drought and doubt they had much as far as nitrogen and the like. With this poor prep I got tons of seeds and a decent harvest of roots but suspect root production can be significantly improved with better soil conditions. Now I want to find out if better prep (1) produces more roots and (2) if it produces less seeds.

Plants will be a combination of clones from my favorites over last few years and new seedlings. I had a pretty good harvest of seed from some new Sandhill varieties and two favored volunteers, I'll probably use just or mostly just those seeds. The volunteers are I reckon, about G5, actually I suppose the new ones are too since they were inter-planted with the old ones. I use the G designation rather than F per the Kaupler definition of grex.

I got lots of ideas on experiments I could run but will probably keep it pretty simple so as not to short my other gardening efforts. Will continue the little side project of trying to cross to i pandurata though.

nathanp

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #127 on: 2019-11-29, 07:44:14 AM »
I had a pretty good harvest of seed from some new Sandhill varieties

Reed, I would be curious which varieties you have found that produce good harvests of seeds, and what those sweet potatoes taste like. 

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #128 on: 2019-11-29, 09:59:03 AM »
Well, I think of all the Sandhill clones those that made most seeds are probably Patriot and Hong Hong. But the first time I grew them they were inter-planted with my original seed maker. I believe it to be the ornamental know as Blackie or a mutation there of. It was self pollinating, I know that for sure. So I don't know if the clones would have made seeds on their own.

I've tried several other Sandhill clones and got at least some seeds from most of them but I think even if they didn't make many seeds they likely pollinated my others so ended up in the grex in anyway. 

Second and succeeding generations from seed make by far the most seeds, many hundreds of them.

Of Patriot and Hong Hong, Patriot is orange fleshed and nicely sweet but not as much so as some in the next generations. Hong Hong is purple skin, white fleshed and not very sweet. Again I think they are most seedy of all I'v tried and I think, may be compatible with each other, not needing other pollen sources but I can't say that for sure. Neither of them has the clump root trait I like, I'v no guess on where it came from.

Successive generations of the whole grex are yielding extreme variation in all traits, even ones not observed in the parents, I'v had solid purple and solid pink show up and none of the varieties I started with had that it's pretty cool.

Some are very sweet and delicious baked dry without anything else added, sweet ones are my favorite. Some aren't sweet at all but I'm learning to like them fired with onions or garlic, baked with butter and in beef stew.





 

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #129 on: Yesterday at 06:02:47 PM »
In the fall of 2018, I harvested sweet potato tubers. Didn't get them planted this spring. Just as well, since it was a super-chilly year. (Last frost was on the summer equinox). The direct seeded plants produced about 6 leaves during the growing season. So I thought that my locally-adapted sweet potato genetics were gone.

Yesterday, 15 months to the day after harvest, I found these tubers. Some of them still alive. Therefore I planted slips, and put the tubers in a window where I can keep them moist to see if any more will sprout. So there are still some local genetics after all.

September 2018


December 2019


Slips Potted, tubers kept moist

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #130 on: Yesterday at 09:01:41 PM »
Sure are tough to be able to hang in there that long.
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps.

reed

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They are tough, in lots of ways. If it's true that they mutate easily, especially in first few "cloned" generations from a seed grown plant and if it's also true that stressful conditions can spark mutation, Joseph might end up with all kinds of interesting things.

Well I shouldn't say if, cause I'v seen mutations a couple of times already. My pink root plant came from a slip off of a purple/white root and a nice bushy clump root plant threw a slip that had long vines and made few roots at all. I barely even know what it is but who knows what surprises epigenetics might add to the mix.

ImGrimmer

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Last winter I stored the sweet potatoes inside in a warm room in the dark. Some had already sprouted, but they just stopped to grow and stayed that way until spring. Tubers that I have kept moist or even planted in a pot always rot. They keep well in the warm, dry and dark environment.