Author Topic: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good  (Read 3355 times)

Garrett Schantz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Karma: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dfa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #15 on: 2021-03-10, 11:28:25 AM »
I'm growing a few blue tomatoes this year for this purpose.

Taste depends on whoever is eating the tomato, so I'm going for what I like.

I don't like red tomatoes - "tangy" also isn't ideal to me. Lycopene appears to be my main dislike.

White tomatoes are fine - so are orange types, - yellow varieties are ok but it depends on other factors of the tomato.

Fruity types that are mostly sweet pair well with white - cream - orange varieties.

This is all in my opinion. Others here appear to share the same taste, which is nice for breeding purposes. A lot of people seem to just want red.

Some blue tomatoes I am growing this year:

Black Bumblebee Trial from J&L Gardens - I got this as a sample seed, not too sure about the tangy description but I will try it out. Bosque Blue is a parent, the description mentions that Black Bumblebee is 60 days from maturity when transplanting out. Which is rather early.

Wagner Blue Green from Bakercreek - I bought this last year and ended up with cherry tomato sized fruit - completely round as well. Bakercreek no longer sells this tomato, unsure what happened there. Could be that the variety has some different variants floating around or that they sold the variant? It tasted fine. Still using seed from last year, so I will probably get cherry tomato types again.

Blue Cream Berries from Bakercreek (Wild boar farms) - Another variety that I bought last year, this one dampened off - unsure of how it tastes. Reviews say super sweet, good flavor. There is also mention of splitting issues when ripe. Some reviews mention that they are bland, which could be due to lacking some typical tomato flavors. Won't know until I try it. The seeds also look quite small, seeds look almost identical to habrochaites / peruvianum or other wilds in appearance. Probably a recent cross.

Woolly Kate - Can't remember where I bought this from, seeds are in a plastic bag from maybe two years ago? These I remember died off because I had to go somewhere after transplanting them, and there was a heat wave which killed them. Anyways, the fruit, branches and leaves all apparently have "hairs". Different hairs from habrochaites, they still might work for bug resistance. This variety might work well as a base for a woolly blue tomato when adding habrochaties cytoplasm.

Most of these I am just using for breeding, or they are older seed I had laying around. Also note that some of these are Tom Wagner, Wild Boar, J&L - all sorts of different breeders made these varieties which may have a good bit of diversity. Different people may select for different traits after all.

Some of these might be planted around my Habrochaites x Pimpinellifolium F2 - hopefully some are exerted. Or they might go towards one of the promiscuous saladette types.
I would prefer to work on the flavor before crossing them to a larger type, cherry tomatoes are easier for me to grow during the winter.

Garrett Schantz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Karma: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dfa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #16 on: 2021-04-10, 07:46:31 AM »
OSU released a new blue tomato fairly recently. It's a roma. I wonder if the anthocyanin shows up when canned.

Midnight Roma: https://www.row7seeds.com/products/midnight-roma-tomato

A decent amount of seeds on the website say "We kindly request that those wishing to propagate or breed with these seeds for commercial purposes obtain a license from the breeder."

The section talking about their seeds says they never sell utility planted seed.

I would email and ask about anything that you purchase.

William S.

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,631
  • Karma: 66
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #17 on: 2021-04-10, 08:27:09 AM »
The blue would not be visible in the sauce but it does add some anthocyanin. Part of the reason Jim Myer's lab breeds blue tomatoes or promotes them is this nutritional benefit. Basically we eat a lot of tomatoes so adding some anthocyanin packs a nutritional punch. Roma is a traditional sauce tomato so this makes sense as an OSU introduction.
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

William S.

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,631
  • Karma: 66
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #18 on: 2021-04-10, 09:51:43 AM »
So I have a tomato line I am calling Mission Mountain Sunrise that is a small early blue bicolor. I just dropped the paper OSSI registration form in the mail yesterday. So eventually it will be OSSI registered. It is a fun tomato.

One thing though I suspect it probably is determinate and that is part of where it gets its earliness. If determinate tomatoes really don't taste as good as indeterminate and dwarf tomatoes, it might make sense to make a cross with a dwarf. Wonder what happens when you cross a dwarf and a determinate? I don't think it is safe to say that dwarf, determinate, and indeterminate are alleles.
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

Garrett Schantz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Karma: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dfa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #19 on: 2021-08-08, 07:04:21 PM »
Figured that I would post an image or so of early - cold stressed antho fruit.

The plant itself is still purple - not noticing any new growth either. Was surprised to see flowers.

I had these marked down as Blue Cream Berries - there are some Wooly Kates that seem permanently stunted as well - no flowers / new growth on those plants.

I had regular plants that were cold stressed - but still recovered. The anthocyanin showing up after exposure to cold temperatures is interesting.

Purple Smudge seems the same.

Unsure if cold tolerant projects would interfere with Anthocyanin tomato projects. I will do a few tests next year.

On the flip side - these tomatoes are covered up by weeds and still showing decent amounts of anthocyanin in the fruits.
« Last Edit: 2021-08-08, 07:06:56 PM by Garrett Schantz »

Garrett Schantz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Karma: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dfa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #20 on: 2021-12-14, 01:29:59 AM »
https://www.edp24.co.uk/things-to-do/food-reviews/john-innes-centre-purple-tomatoes-heading-for-usa-8553956

GMO blue tomato seeds may be available in the U.S. soon. As well as actual fruit in stores?

May or may not be patented over here. Article doesn't mention. I would assume so, but this is still pretty interesting.

Tim DH

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 82
  • Karma: 5
    • Yorkshire UK
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Cfb
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA 8
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #21 on: 2021-12-14, 06:00:58 AM »
Isn't it encouraging to see countries co-operating in the name of progress?

One country says 'We've got a brilliant idea, but our population is DEEPLY unsure about it. Please can we try it out on your population?'
The other country says 'Sure. ... use our population as guinea pigs.'
Now all we need is the same self sacrificing responses to Climate Change.

I wonder whether anyone in Norwich has tasted them fresh?
If they did, I wonder what special precautions were taken regarding processing those peoples subsequent bowel movements!!

Tim DH

William S.

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,631
  • Karma: 66
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #22 on: 2021-12-14, 09:09:00 AM »
https://www.edp24.co.uk/things-to-do/food-reviews/john-innes-centre-purple-tomatoes-heading-for-usa-8553956

GMO blue tomato seeds may be available in the U.S. soon. As well as actual fruit in stores?

May or may not be patented over here. Article doesn't mention. I would assume so, but this is still pretty interesting.

"If approved, it was possible that seeds of the purple tomato varieties might be available to gardeners and growers in the American market from the early spring, she said."

 Whoa no one ever releases GMO to home gardeners. Always keep it patented and under wraps. Here come the snap dragon genes? 

I poked around a little on the websites of John Innes Centre and BigPurpleTomato and found no confirmation of the above quote from the article. They did say in older materials that they would produce juice only with no seed sold to keep the GMO genetics controlled. Regulatory approval to sell seed to home gardeners would be very different. If they sell fresh fruit with seed in it they might as well sell seed packets.

I'm not entirely opposed to the idea. Would be lovely if they could prove it safe, then extra lovely if they would just release it without patents. Then I could breed with it!

In a similar vein the GMO version of resistant American Chestnuts might be released soon and that is intended for release into the wild.

Speaking of the wild- I wonder how long before wild tomato populations would be contaminated by the gmo tomato and what if any impact that would have?

I like that it isn't GMO for herbicide or pesticide resistance.

Snapdragon genes is a little weird to me though because I don't typically look at my snapdragon plants and think of food. Wonder how they inserted the transgenes also. I like the potential of the new gene editing technology. I would have the least qualms about them gene editing a tomato with the genes for all the way through purple fruit from a tomatillo. Vs. old school insertion of rando snapdragon genes but still it might be an ok thing. Better than that escaped roundup resistant Agrostis.

I wonder if targeted mutation could activate the pathways for purple flesh in tomato. It is just possible that this same effect could be found in a natural way. 
« Last Edit: 2021-12-14, 01:09:28 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

Garrett Schantz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Karma: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dfa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #23 on: 2021-12-14, 06:23:02 PM »
Found an older article talking about this particular team.

http://www.norfolkplantsciences.com/bbc-news-purple-tomato-may-boost-health/



 Whoa no one ever releases GMO to home gardeners. Always keep it patented and under wraps. Here come the snap dragon genes? 

I'm not entirely opposed to the idea. Would be lovely if they could prove it safe, then extra lovely if they would just release it without patents. Then I could breed with it!

In a similar vein the GMO version of resistant American Chestnuts might be released soon and that is intended for release into the wild.

Speaking of the wild- I wonder how long before wild tomato populations would be contaminated by the gmo tomato and what if any impact that would have?

I like that it isn't GMO for herbicide or pesticide resistance.

Snapdragon genes is a little weird to me though because I don't typically look at my snapdragon plants and think of food. Wonder how they inserted the transgenes also. I like the potential of the new gene editing technology. I would have the least qualms about them gene editing a tomato with the genes for all the way through purple fruit from a tomatillo. Vs. old school insertion of rando snapdragon genes but still it might be an ok thing. Better than that escaped roundup resistant Agrostis.

I wonder if targeted mutation could activate the pathways for purple flesh in tomato. It is just possible that this same effect could be found in a natural way. 


https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25885756
"The purple pigment is the result of the transfer of a gene from a snapdragon plant - the modification triggers a process within the tomato plant allowing the anthocyanin to develop."

Hopefully a mutation could cause something similar, like you said.

I do feel like copying the Antho genes from black nightshade or something similar would be more welcomed by consumers.

Seems like they don't want to let seeds out, in order to prevent "contamination". Or, they don't want to lose money on something that they have tested / put a lot of money into.

I would really like to work with this tomato if seeds ever become available. Also makes me wonder if existing antho genes in some S. peruvianum accessions - other tomatoes, would increase the anthocyanin levels even more.

I'm also unsure of what tomato was used as a base for this. The main goal appears to be higher nutritional value / anti-cancer.

The Flavr Savr had a weak "parent", apparently didn't taste good. I would hope that these researchers can look back at that for example.

William S.

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,631
  • Karma: 66
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #24 on: 2021-12-14, 08:25:13 PM »
Yeah with Flavr savr the story I heard from at least one of my profs at Oregon state if I recall right is that they chose a bad flavored tomato to do the modification to. However there is a practical reason for that. Some varieties work better in tissue culture than others and it constrains work that has to be done in tissue culture.

The transgenic purple tomato websites I was looking at earlier did say they've been working on the conventional breeding side of it. That's an important part of it! Also precisely what sunk the flavr savr. If you or I or they could take that original flavr savr genetics and cross it with something tastier it could still be bred into a better product.
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

William S.

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,631
  • Karma: 66
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #25 on: 2021-12-14, 08:34:03 PM »
I wonder if blue cream berries and amethyst cream are the same?

Amethyst cream and Brad Gate's blue bicolors actually taste good. I found one plant of a segretating blue Indigo Kumquat F3? Mike sent that was good.

I bet exserted orange would be tasty with some blue on it if crossed to say my MMS line which I think tastes like a normal bicolor as do Brad Gates blue bicolors.
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

William S.

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,631
  • Karma: 66
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Breeding for Blue Tomatoes that taste good
« Reply #26 on: 2022-02-23, 07:40:36 PM »
https://www.edp24.co.uk/things-to-do/food-reviews/john-innes-centre-purple-tomatoes-heading-for-usa-8553956

GMO blue tomato seeds may be available in the U.S. soon. As well as actual fruit in stores?

May or may not be patented over here. Article doesn't mention. I would assume so, but this is still pretty interesting.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2309346-purple-superfood-tomato-could-finally-go-on-sale-in-the-us/amp/

Another article same thing.
« Last Edit: 2022-02-23, 07:59:38 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