Author Topic: Climate Change Breeding  (Read 4666 times)

Doro

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #15 on: 2018-12-02, 10:15:07 AM »
Now you're giving me ideas William ;D the husband will not like a tray of plants in the fridge hahaha but now I'm curious. I will do some controlled refrigerator tests in March when I start my seedlings. That's still early enough to restart more plants if it goes bad.
I grow quite some varieties from Russia, results should be interesting.
Here direct seeded or volunteer seeds start to grow in the greenhouse way after average spring frost. They normally show up late May or June for me. Which makes them too late to produce ripe fruit here. I tried, but that's not happening yet here.
I used to grow different wild tomatoes and did experimental crosses with them. But I was not too happy with them actually. They did not seem more cold hardy to me than the other varieties I grow. And the fruit size made them awfully timeconsuming to pick. Breeding back to a at least somewhat useful fruit size was not a speedy process and I discarded the experiments in the F4 I think. Focusing mostly on beefstake, just grow a few salad types.

Andrew, I have another good poor example for a variety loosing its hardiness because of seedgrowers taking it to a warm climate. The pepper King of the North. Seeds from Spain or Greece.

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #16 on: 2018-12-02, 01:53:38 PM »

When I plant things that are way outside their comfort zone, I occasionally try starting them in the greenhouse. These days, I'm tending to favor direct seeding of most things. Then I just gamble with them until some variety or other succeeds in some year or other.

Because I encourage promiscuity in everything I grow, it would be really hard for me to determine if differences in plant growth are due to epigenetics. And I don't have the patience to do the experiments that might attempt to answer those sorts of questions... And even then, how would I differentiate epigenetics from other factors that might influence growth, such as (possibly synergetic) associations with bacteria, fungi, or viri. A friend suggested that I might want to offer a sample of my garden soil with each packet of tomato seeds. To make it easier to transfer the associated microbiology.

With seed bearing plants, epigenetic program transformations might also occur inside seeds that are still in the plants. For example, when I grow okra, I typically harvest the seed pods way after the beginning of frosty weather. Wondering if the seeds are being epigentically conditioned for better growth in cold weather?

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #17 on: 2018-12-02, 10:07:30 PM »
It strikes me that a lot of our projects tend to be adaptation projects which seems thread worthy in its own right.

It also strikes me that stress tolerance in crops is useful and multi purpose. When Bill McDorman moved to Arizona he found his high elevation varieties did well in the desert too. So both short seasonality AND stress tolerance might be generally useful for climate change.

In general I feel like being as mean as possible to the plants might be useful. If 90% fail to set seed that might mean something useful is happening genetically or epigenetically.

Like with tomatoes. I find myself wanting to drive them to the edge of their tolerances by depriving them of water, frost protection, season length, and care. How much abuse can they take? I feel like I am learning more by torturing tomatoes. This year I planted close to a dozen plants each of hab x domestic and pennellii x domestic and only got seed back from one each. That could be the perfect amount of being mean to them if it means next year's plants are somehow improved. 
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reed

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #18 on: 2018-12-03, 12:08:20 AM »
...In general I feel like being as mean as possible to the plants might be useful. If 90% fail to set seed that might mean something useful is happening genetically or epigenetically...

I'v been growing "survivor" pole beans for a few seasons. I take every kind I have and sow them in a 3' x 50' bed and walk away. Lots generally come up but they are overcrowded, then the weeds move it. Then it gets hot and dry, or cool and damp, whatever.  Total harvest of all years mixed together is about a quart. I haven't replanted any survivors yet, each year I start over with as many new kinds as I can and I always include any off-types that show up in my other beans. One thing I wish I had done and will start this coming year is saving the earlier ones separately.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #19 on: 2018-12-03, 09:53:23 AM »
No poles?  Just a total tangle, all grown together?
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

reed

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #20 on: 2018-12-03, 11:15:57 AM »
No poles?  Just a total tangle, all grown together?
This past year I pitched some rusty unused tomato cages in the mess but they landed on their sides and were only maybe a foot above the ground.  Whatever fights it way to dominance early on and finds its way above the grasses and and other weeds and makes a few seeds gets it's genetics saved.

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #21 on: 2018-12-03, 02:07:56 PM »
Reed: I grow beans in approximately the same way. I plant in rows, spaced just wider than my tiller. I might run the tiller through the patch once or at most twice. But I tend to not weed within the rows. So when I harvest, the weeds are 3 feet tall, and the beans are surrounded. Survival Beans might be better as pole beans than as bush beans. Nevertheless the bush beans are holding their own against the weeds.


reed

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #22 on: 2018-12-03, 03:55:27 PM »
I love that picture of Joseph's beans, had to look hard to see a bean leaf. At least with pole types a bean leaf occasionally makes it to the top.

I don't use a tiller, I roughly and shallowly chop up the area with my peasant hoe. I make sure to dig out any large established perennial grasses but I just leave everything there. I use my other very sharp hoe to clear paths on both sides and scrape that up and toss it on top. Then I scatter the seeds and finish up with a rake.

Most seeds come up and it's a solid mass of beans but then the weeds reestablish and the beans mostly seem to disappear. Later on as if by magic some of them are still there, and blooming! It's great fun to see what kinds I get when they dry but colors, shapes and sizes are never as diverse as what I planted.

I figure there are may be other random, non-genetic things at work in deciding what matures seed and what doesn't. Maybe this one found a particular tall, sturdy weed to grab onto or that one had it's early competition taken out by a rabbit. Still, with competition for nutrients, water and sunshine I imagine genetics does play some part.
« Last Edit: 2018-12-03, 04:47:28 PM by reed »

Woody Gardener

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #23 on: 2018-12-15, 06:34:54 PM »
I'm another cruel gardener. I call it 'tough love gardening'.

Walt

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #24 on: 2018-12-17, 02:19:48 PM »
A corn breeder at Kansas State U said that in the early days of hybrid corn, many inbreds came from KSU.  This in spite of other universities spending more and having more breeders working on it.
His belief was that it was because Kansas breeders were trialing their inbreds around the state and thus testing them in more climates that, say, an Iowa breeder triling around Iowa, which has a somewhat more uniform climate around the state.  While most of us aren't working with inbreds, trialing in different climates is still useful.
And CIMMYT in Mexico was growing spring barley in the winter in the muggy humid lowlands for one generation, then in the cooler, dryier uplands, getting 2 generations per year.  They ended up with a population that did pretty well anywhere in the world where it has been tried.  Growing it a few years in the new place made it even better.
Barley breeders at the time raised concerns about using one population throughout the world.  Good for them.  But again, this could be done with various grains, several populations each.

reed

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #25 on: 2018-12-17, 04:23:33 PM »
A corn breeder at Kansas State U said that in the early days of hybrid corn, many inbreds came from KSU.  This in spite of other universities spending more and having more breeders working on it.
His belief was that it was because Kansas breeders were trialing their inbreds around the state and thus testing them in more climates that, say, an Iowa breeder triling around Iowa, which has a somewhat more uniform climate around the state....

When I first got serious about this seed saving / breeding and started doing research I remember I came across paper from the early 1900's the 1920's if I remember right. I think it was in the early days of hybridization but one sentence and I'll paraphrase here "no variety of corn performs the same in one place as it does in another".

One sentence, in all those hundreds of pages stood out and made sense to me and it still does and logically and by my own observation if it applies to corn it applies to everything.  That's why I don't believe much of anything about how something, grows, produces, tastes, what it tolerates or thrives on. Not that I think the sellers are necessarily trying to lie, it might be true when grown in their fields and it might be true in mine but more often not.

The first and most important thing to me is if it grows in my garden, I'll worry about other stuff later. That's why I'm done pretty much done with trialing varieties, don't have time for it.  I need diversity, mixes, grexes, landraces.
« Last Edit: 2018-12-17, 04:25:15 PM by reed »

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #26 on: 2018-12-17, 04:42:45 PM »

The first and most important thing to me is if it grows in my garden, I'll worry about other stuff later. That's why I'm done pretty much done with trialing varieties, don't have time for it.  I need diversity, mixes, grexes, landraces.

With tomatoes I've found the mixes, grexes, segregating populations,, landraces AND varieties to be useful for different reasons. Varieties for finding very particular traits and the various mixes for exploring a lot of variation. Though most of the true variation is in the wild species with that bunch.
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

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #27 on: 2019-12-15, 12:25:37 PM »
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191209112147.htm

Article about climate change weather patterns and future drought.
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

Lauren

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #28 on: 2019-12-15, 06:25:54 PM »
In general I feel like being as mean as possible to the plants might be useful. If 90% fail to set seed that might mean something useful is happening genetically or epigenetically.
I call it casual neglect. I will admit that the first year or two with a new plant I'm careful because my goal is to get enough seeds that are adapted, but after that it's pretty much SOTF.

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #29 on: 2019-12-24, 09:16:02 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/24/vegetables-vegan-organic-agriculture-farming

Article about Will Bonsall and Veganic. Makes some big claims. 75% less farmland needed?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

The 75% claim links to the above.

Interesting, though I may not agree entirely with this line of thinking.
« Last Edit: 2019-12-25, 04:44:20 AM 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