Author Topic: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes  (Read 5065 times)

William S.

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Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« Reply #60 on: 2019-01-17, 08:13:58 PM »
Are you sure he won't be?

Not sure, but his sales website says "closed for the season" and something about 2015. Can't be sure, he might open it up.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

nathanp

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Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« Reply #61 on: 2019-01-18, 04:57:15 PM »
Not sure, but his sales website says "closed for the season" and something about 2015. Can't be sure, he might open it up.

He has not opened his web store in about 5 years.  I think the story is that it was too much for him to manage at this point in his life due to other family events and commitments, and the other person helping him run it was donating his time to run the website.  Until something changes, it probably will stay closed.

Are you looking for late blight resistant TPS?  If so, what types interest you, and what is your growing season like?
« Last Edit: 2019-01-18, 04:59:02 PM by nathanp »

William S.

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Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« Reply #62 on: 2019-01-18, 07:46:00 PM »
I'm afraid I'm not yet experienced enough with TPS yet to know much about the different types. Just thought a packet or two of Toms late blight resistant seed would be nice- he had some nice offerings in 15 and the site is still up. I am still working on my first two or three packets of TPS. Didn't plant any more last year. Still short of my TPS goal of getting more true seed grown. Focused on tomatoes last year. My growing season is about 90 to 130 days long. Is moist until end of June many years then dry for a few months with a very slight Mediterranean influence. Relatively cool summers, not many heat units, but not as cool as the PNW. Summers are fluctuate a lot, sometimes cold and rainy, sometimes dry and hot or even long and smokey, less predictable than formerly.  Relatively low precipitation naturally but I have a well and irrigate. I have this feeling though that I should try to focus on tomato goals for a few years so I can work with larger population sizes etc.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« Reply #63 on: 2019-02-28, 09:41:31 PM »

A progress report on my blight tolerance tomato trails. The goal of the project is to create a self-incompatible population of tomatoes, so that every seed will be a new F1 hybrid in each generation, which will make it easy to trial hundreds of thousands of new varieties for tolerance to things like blights, insects, frost, soil, weather, etc...

So far, I have recruited about 90 volunteers to grow out seeds from the third generation descendants of the interspecies tomato crosses. Each volunteer got about 50 seeds. About 70% of them were distributed to organic growers in the eastern usa who told me that they have tremendous disease problems when growing tomatoes. I asked for seeds back from untreated plants that survive the diseases.

I distributed bulk field-run seed, so some of them will be self-incompatible, some will be self-compatible, and some will have muddled traits. I'm only asking for seed return from plants with promiscuous type flowers. In any case, some of the self-compatible varieties that are not of interest to me, may be very worthwhile to people who like growing that kind of tomato.

We are growing a crop of these overwinter in a warmer climate, which were selected to be the best of the best regarding promiscuous pollination and self-incompatibility. They aren't getting blight tolerance testing this winter. The winter grow out is purely about selection for promiscuous flowers and self-incompatibility. Those are the most important traits to me at this point in the project. Once I have a self-incompatible population, with promiscuous flowers, then I'll start selecting for other traits.  It's looking like sweet, fruity, high-ummami fruits will be emerging from this project. Fruits whose flavor has little in common with domestic tomatoes.

Here's hoping that this summer's bight tolerance trails provide useful data and germplasm. If nothing else they may help us better understand how to do this type of free-lance participatory plant selection and breeding.

Here's a photo from a report the grower sent. My, how promiscuous.

William S.

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Re: Blight Resistance in Potatoes and Tomatoes
« Reply #64 on: 2020-02-01, 10:26:12 AM »
Late blight usually doesn't inconvenience us much in the maritime NW because  it tends to come only after the beginning of the rainy season, at which point the cold rain and cold weather tend to make the tomatoes split as well as not be very flavorful. After we're tired if tomatoes and quit picking them. But because of the existence of both mating types, I'm expecting this to change dramatically, and for it to become impossible to grow heirloom tomatoes outdoors at all in the NW and most of the rest of the country within the next 5 to 10 years. (As is now the case already in most of Europe.) The problem is not just that the two mating types will allow sexual reproduction, thus faster evolution. It's that the propagules resulting from sexual reproduction persist in the soil for years. Up until now, we have been dealing with only the vegetative spores, and those survive only in living plants. So we could avoid infection simply by starting our transplants from seed or buying from local farmers. (Not from big box stores, which often import infected transplants from Florida where the pathogen can survive year round on live wild solanums or tomato or potato volunteers.) It takes enough time for wind to spread the disease that in most areas the disease doesn't reach you till late in the season. But once the blight starts propagating sexually, it will be everywhere right at the start of the season.

If we want to have wonderful heirloom quality flavors in op tomatoes in the future, we freelance plant breeders are going to need to breed them. Hence the emphasis in breeding tomatoes, especially, in The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, including sections on known LB resistance genes, and the big section on tomato gene nomenclature and the genes and inheritance of all the characteristics  heirloom tomato lovers care most about.

There are, by the way, a number of University breeders, working on LB resistant tomatoes.  (I participate in NOVIC, an organics oriented organization that trials and tastes released  and unreleased vegetable varieties from participating  breeders and farmers.) But as far as I know, with one exception, the university breeders are breeding inbred lines for seed companies to use to make proprietary hybrids, and their inbreds would not be available to us to breed from without a contract giving the university partial ownership or royalties on anything developed. The anathema of open source.

 In addition, there are two other problems with the university-bred varieties. First, they seem to all be bred so heavily for crack resistance that the skins are so tough I spit them out. That is, these are all commercial tomatoes. I would rather deal with a certain amount of cracking and have a tomato with an edible skin. I can't use the tomatoes in a salad unless I  peel the skins off. Second, they don't taste very good. The USA University and commercial breeders have been incorporating uu, the gene for uniform shoulders, in all their varieties. This recessive gene is necessary if you want the perfectly uniform color instead of green or off color shoulders. That gene has now been positively proved to also invariable lower the sugar content and the amount of aromatics, that is, flavor, in the fruits. So if it has seemed to you that the most beautiful uniformly colored tomatoes never taste very good, it's because they don't.

Presumably the poor flavor of the current LB resistant tomatoes is because they are bred to look completely uniform, ie carry uu, and possibly other genes such as for slow ripening, not because of the genes for LB resistance. I picked a batch of one such hybrid and tasted one every few days. They kept about three weeks, looking totally glorious, but at no point actually tasting like food. Inspired by blight resistant tomatoes, my flavor scale now includes two additional classes. 4 is "I might sometimes grow and eat this, but only if it was the only tomato variety on the planet." 5 is "I would not ever grow and eat this, even if it was the only tomato variety on the planet." Arise fellow freelancer breeders! Surely we can do better than this!

The one University breeder I know of who has developed a relevant open pollinated LB resistant variety is Jim Myers at OSU. He's developed a medium size op tomato that carries Ph2 and Ph5. Alas, it also carries uu, and doesn't taste very good. However, when it is released it will give us a good source of Ph5 to play with. And the lack of flavor should vanish if you cross to something tasty and then resist the temptation to select for uniform color. I expect that OSU will put a PVP on the new variety, but it is legal to breed from a PVP.

Wondering how Carol is doing with her late blight heirloom tomato project. Her website doesn't yet have a 2020 catalogue. It does still have the notice up about looking for funding for the tomato project. I might plant one Big Hill in the center of a small patch of segregating Lizzano as my 2020 contribution.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-01, 10:32:58 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days