Author Topic: Rhubarb breeding  (Read 246 times)

nathanp

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Rhubarb breeding
« on: 2019-10-27, 07:09:11 PM »
I am curious if anyone here has done much breeding work with Rhubarb.  It does not appear that there are many commercially available varieties, which is interesting, but maybe not surprising.  From reading a few white papers regarding specific genetic markers, there are plenty of clones that appear to have once been the same vegetative clone, but have since veered further away from each other, either somatic mutations or epigenetics, or due to some other cause.  That is quite interesting, and perhaps points to some instability with the genetics.  It seems like a much higher rate of changes that you might see with something like potatoes, which I am more familiar with.  But even with that, there are still few available groups of clones. 


Ocimum

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #1 on: 2019-10-28, 04:20:13 AM »
Just read that the newer Rhubarb varieties are a tetraploid mix of Rheum rhabarbarum and R. rhaponticum, while both species still exist at the diploid stage.

The EFN (Experimental Farm Network) has a breeder's mix, with some interesteing genetics
https://store.experimentalfarmnetwork.org/collections/perennial-vegetables/products/tracy-rhubarb

Richard Watson

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #2 on: 2019-10-28, 11:57:42 AM »
Not so much done breeding but this plant was grown from seed two years ago and its clear that seed grown rhubarb has far more vigour when it young, the tops of the flowers are nearly shoulder high at the moment. Its a beautiful plant this one with long thick red/green stems. I have another clump under another garden tap which I found growing in a corner of this property when we bought it 20 years ago, its a green stem type that's only half the size of the new one, I'm sure there will be some crossing happening at the moment and I so plan the let the plant in the photo set seed, if anyone is keen on some seed....

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
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rowan

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #3 on: 2019-10-28, 05:29:14 PM »
I bred one that is becoming very popular here in Australia for home growers but the stems tend to grow to big for supermarkets so the market is limited. There is another rhubarb breeder here that has around dozen varieties for sale.
I would love to find a mutation with an orange or yellow petiole since most rhubarb varieties are so similar but not to be so far,
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nathanp

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #4 on: 2019-10-28, 07:06:35 PM »
Just read that the newer Rhubarb varieties are a tetraploid mix of Rheum rhabarbarum and R. rhaponticum, while both species still exist at the diploid stage.

The EFN (Experimental Farm Network) has a breeder's mix, with some interesteing genetics
https://store.experimentalfarmnetwork.org/collections/perennial-vegetables/products/tracy-rhubarb

I had seen the EFN page yesterday, but did not see much in the description about genetics involved.

Ocimum

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #5 on: 2019-10-29, 01:20:27 AM »
I had seen the EFN page yesterday, but did not see much in the description about genetics involved.

I also don't know more, other than he states
Quote
This breeding mix contains seeds from at least four varieties of rhubarb
, from different colors.

Richard Watson: your cultivar sounds interesting, I also wanted to start a small breeding trial with rhubarb, to get a variety for growing as understory in orchards.

Rowan: how big do the stems of your variety grow? And what is the name, if I may ask?

triffid

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #6 on: 2019-10-29, 09:08:45 AM »
I would love to find a mutation with an orange or yellow petiole

https://deaflora.de/Shop/Rhabarber/Rhabarber-Chereshkovy-Kompotny.html

Had my eyes on this one all year - when the time came to buy it was sold out!

Ocimum

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #7 on: 2019-10-29, 06:30:34 PM »
Therefore it exists, the orange rhubarb!
http://www.semeur.fr/wiki/index.php?title=Chereshkovy_kompotny

This is the link to a french seed exchange platform, even if the person has it out of stock maybe some seeds could be collected next year?

nathanp

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #8 on: 2019-10-30, 05:13:29 AM »
It would be interesting to find out the history on that one.  The USDA Genebank has 62 accessions, but they are mostly from north america or western european sources.  USA, Canada, UK, with three from Netherlands, one Germany, and two from New Zealand. 

A search of Rheum rhabarbarum on this site will return the currently available accessions.  https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/search.aspx

Many of these correspond to two white papers that are examining genetic markers with the question of diversity and genetic distance between existing clones.


ImGrimmer

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #9 on: 2019-10-30, 06:44:18 AM »
Therefore it exists, the orange rhubarb!
http://www.semeur.fr/wiki/index.php?title=Chereshkovy_kompotny

This is the link to a french seed exchange platform, even if the person has it out of stock maybe some seeds could be collected next year?

you might find it on ebay. I saw russian sellers on ebay selling products from this seed company.

triffid

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #10 on: 2019-10-30, 08:04:55 AM »
https://deaflora.de/Shop/Rhabarber/Rhabarber-Chereshkovy-Kompotny.html

Had my eyes on this one all year - when the time came to buy it was sold out!

Just received a response from the seller; I'll be available to order again in January with delivery in May.

In the summer the seed was for sale from an Estonian company https://seemnemaailm.ee/en/ but the page has since disappeared.

A search for its name in Russian (черешковый компотный) yields a few results for seed, yet no mention of it's orange colouration and the pictures don't look orange to me. Makes me wonder whether the Deaflora source is true to type or a mutation.

ImGrimmer

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #11 on: 2019-10-30, 09:00:12 AM »
the picture doesn't look orange at all. But I saw a picture where it really seemed to be orange. Although I suspect it is a question of correct exposure instead of real orange.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #12 on: 2019-10-30, 11:35:02 AM »
You will need to take care that what you grow is edible.

Here is what I found on Richter's site:

(Da huang; Chinese rhubarb; Turkey rhubarb) The best medicinal rhubarb. Esteemed for 5000 years as a safe purgative. Action is brisk, healthy and non-constipating. Has marked anti-tumour properties and is one of 4 ingredients in the EssiacŪ anti-cancer formula. The history of rhubarb has more than a fair share of intrigue and colourful characters. For centuries the true source and identity of medicinal rhubarb was concealed to protect traders supplying the European market. Even today in China the botanical identity of the crude drug sold in the herb markets is usually unclear.
-- GANSU STRAIN (R. aff. officinale) Our seeds come from a medicinal rhubarb farm in Gansu Province in Western China where traditionally some of the best medicinal rhubarb comes from. We think it is Rheum officinale, but a conclusive identification has not yet been made. Regardless of the botanical identity, this is in fact the right material for commercial rhubarb production.
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rowan

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #13 on: 2019-10-30, 12:22:42 PM »

Rowan: how big do the stems of your variety grow? And what is the name, if I may ask?

The name of my variety is 'Red Rover' I selected it from a seed grown lot around 8 years ago I think. Because it is so vigorous the stem size depends on when it was last divided but newly divided plants grow stems to around a metre, getting shorter over the next couple of years.
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nathanp

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Re: Rhubarb breeding
« Reply #14 on: 2019-10-30, 06:59:14 PM »
the picture doesn't look orange at all. But I saw a picture where it really seemed to be orange. Although I suspect it is a question of correct exposure instead of real orange.

I have a suspicion that it is not really orange.  It probably is a pink that has an altered photo.  All the information I have found says stems can only be red, green or some shade of in between those.