Author Topic: Breeding dwarf tomatoes podcast (Craig LeHoullier and Patrina Nuske-Small)  (Read 1260 times)

Carol Deppe

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Here is S2E4 of the OSSI-sponsored podcasts on plant breeding with host Rachel Holtengren.
https://osseeds.org/category/free-the-seed-podcast/

This podcast features the Dwarf Tomato Project with interviewees Craig LeHouller and Patrina Nuske-Small, the co-directors of the project. This project involved more than 200 volunteer gardeners in North America and Australia. The purpose was to greatly expand the class of dwarf tomatoes. These are tomatoes carrying the recessive d gene, which have short internodes but are indeterminate. They produce compact plants up to about 4 feet tall that are great for growing in containers or small gardens. Unlike determinate tomatoes (which usually carry the recessive gene sp, self-pruning), dwarf tomatoes have a normal ratio of leaf surface to tomato, and are capable of producing full-flavored fruit. However, until Craig and Patrina came along, there were just a few boring varieties of dwarf tomatoes with boring small red fruits, except for one variety with large red fruits, which had been overlooked and forgotten. Craig and Patrina saw the potential for an entirely new class of tomatoes with the sizes and unique colors and flavors of heirloom tomatoes but in smaller more controllable plants.  (Plants that actually fit nicely in those tomato cages you can buy.) (Dwarf tomatoes, by the way, have a distinctive rugose foliage that let's you identify them in the seedling stage when doing breeding.)

All the Dwarf Tomato Project varieties are all OSSI-Pledged. Victory Seeds has the most complete listing; I think they carry them all. There are nearly 100 at this point.

William S.

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"Patrina Nuske Small: Yes. My concern is that I hope people will take it upon themselves to actually go to the effort of contacting the Open Source Seed Initiative in order to pledge the progeny. And I worry a little bit about that, whether or not everybody will continue to do that. But they should, because they have been pledged, and so the progeny are also meant to be pledged."

I like this quote from the podcast. It reflects a curiosity I have about OSSI pledged descendants in general.
« Last Edit: 2021-12-26, 10:06:36 PM by William S. »
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Richard Watson

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Unfortunately because of import restrictions we in NZ cant take up OSSI pledged dwarf varieties, I have two varieties thanks to my involvement in the project, that was during a time before restrictions. wherokowhai was my wee baby that I had the wonderful pleasure of naming and doing selection work on  https://www.victoryseeds.com/tomato_wherokowhai.html. Beryl beauty is the other that I did grow out work on
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - 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 shingle

William S.

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Unfortunately because of import restrictions we in NZ cant take up OSSI pledged dwarf varieties, I have two varieties thanks to my involvement in the project, that was during a time before restrictions. wherokowhai was my wee baby that I had the wonderful pleasure of naming and doing selection work on  https://www.victoryseeds.com/tomato_wherokowhai.html. Beryl beauty is the other that I did grow out work on

Both potato leaf, both descended from Craig's top ten list flavor varieties, and both 90 days to maturity! I wouldn't be able to get but maybe a couple tomatoes from them before frost lots of years though that might be changing. With the potato leaves and the dwarf they would make very good cross mothers for additional crosses.

I wonder if any of the OSSI dwarf varieties have exserted stigmas at all?
« Last Edit: 2021-12-28, 11:34:11 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian parent material and shallow 7" silty clay loam mollisoil topsoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

reed

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I wonder if any of the OSSI dwarf varieties have exserted stigmas at all?
Good news, yes, they do. Bad news I don't remember which one. I grew half dozen or so of them a few years back and unfortunately none did very well for me, but I remember one especially had open flowers. I think it was one that was described as having Brandywine in its heritage. I may be able spark my memory by reviewing old photos.

William S.

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Any chance it was Brandyfred? https://www.victoryseeds.com/tomato_brandyfred.html

I searched the family page on victory seeds for Brandywine and there is only one hit the tasty family which makes the other option Tastywine. https://www.victoryseeds.com/tomato_tastywine.html

Both are potato leaf so there would be that classic potato leaf and exserted combination- which is really useful as crosses show up as regular leaf.
« Last Edit: 2021-12-29, 08:18:28 AM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian parent material and shallow 7" silty clay loam mollisoil topsoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

reed

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Tastywine sounds familiar, now I have clue what to look for in the old pictures.

William S.

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Well now I want both of them! Though of the two only Brandyfred is practical here.
« Last Edit: 2021-12-30, 12:12:30 AM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian parent material and shallow 7" silty clay loam mollisoil topsoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

reed

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Couldn't find pictures but did find some garden notes, it was Tastywine. Also, it was a bad drought year, and I don't irrigate. Maybe I should give these dwarves another try.

William S.

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There are a lot of them to try! I don't mind how the two older pre-project dwarfs kept the fruit off the ground. Hopefully the ones I try in the new year do that as well.

Oh, and happy new year!
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reed

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There are a lot of them to try! I don't mind how the two older pre-project dwarfs kept the fruit off the ground. Hopefully the ones I try in the new year do that as well.
Oh, and happy new year!

Tomatoes grow pretty well here and pretty BIG! That's what makes me wish the dwarfs would work for me. I'm tired of building all those big trellises to hold giant vines. I can't just let them sprawl because even if they do have strong stems that can old the fruits off the ground a plant that gets six or seven feet tall trellised can spread 12 or 14 if left to run on the ground and I can't afford letting them have that much space. It doesn't work to just keep pointing them back into their assigned space cause the just end up in a big pile with lots of fruit buried in it, away from the sun. I think I will give some the dwarfs another try.

Happy new year to you too!

William S.

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I really wish in some ways I could grow big tomato plants. Even the F1 interspecies hybrids I grew were really small compared to some peoples. Dwarfs can get bigger than my big tomato plants get.

First day of 2022!
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nathanp

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Tomatoes grow pretty well here and pretty BIG! That's what makes me wish the dwarfs would work for me. I'm tired of building all those big trellises to hold giant vines. I can't just let them sprawl because even if they do have strong stems that can old the fruits off the ground a plant that gets six or seven feet tall trellised can spread 12 or 14 if left to run on the ground and I can't afford letting them have that much space. It doesn't work to just keep pointing them back into their assigned space cause the just end up in a big pile with lots of fruit buried in it, away from the sun. I think I will give some the dwarfs another try.

Happy new year to you too!

Reed, that is one reason I am interested in growing mostly dwarf potato plants as well.  I'll probably grow a few disease resistance plants as well, but probably will be mostly dwarfs.

William S.

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It would make a lot of sense to me to cross Dwarf tomatoes with disease resistant tomatoes. The dwarf project has captured a lot of diverse colors and flavors. It could even be a way to conduct the late blight project Carol Deppe proposed with cross mothers that are already OSSI pledged.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian parent material and shallow 7" silty clay loam mollisoil topsoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days