Author Topic: Climate Change Breeding  (Read 17941 times)

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #90 on: 2020-02-20, 07:02:32 PM »
Steph, that earliness selection in tomatoes is interesting.

I have collected some extremely early tomatoes but havent yet made a cross specifically with them.

In 2019 the earliest variety I've found Sweet Cherriette from adaptive seeds bred by Tim Peters which always previously at least tied with any other strain when planted the same way didn't manage a tie. Maybe it was the dry farming in addition to direct seeding. I think the dry farming makes the plants much more sensitive to soil texture. Shallower patches of soil led to slower growing less productive plants. I saved seed from the earliest F2 but I doubt I'll grow it because it was a boring red and I already have lots of ultra early boring reds. I think what happened is a taller plant in better soil outgrew the Sweet Cherriette standard in poorer soil. I think more equal conditions are necessary to truly unseat Sweet Cherriette as the earliest tomato even under the same condition's as 2019 because soil quality is so variable in the field and causes an interesting interaction.
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Steph S

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #91 on: 2020-02-20, 07:44:57 PM »
William, I've grown quite a few early tomatoes, some were very productive and very early but the fruit was barely edible (unless you cook it, and even then, once you have tasted good ones, there's a big difference).   Also noted that different early varieties performed very differently in different climates - they may be early in all cases but fruit quality and plant health may suffer (our climate tends to cause everything to suffer, haha).   So the dry soil situation is another different factor, you are best to cast a wide net and trial as many early varieties as you can and find those that produce good quality fruit in your environment.
I started with a focus on earliness and cold tolerance but ended up learning a lot about the importance of other traits in the bargain.  I have some Kimberley maternal lines that capitalized on Kimberley's early flowering.  They are cold tolerant and extra early for first fruits  but seem especially attractive to aphids and other pests which hardly bother other lines.    For example.
The most successful lines that I have, came from an Italian determinate mother line - Napoli a Fiaschetto - which was by no means the earliest of the pack but I liked the fruit quality and the hardiness of the plant.   And the lines from that parentage have been selected for exceptional disease resistance and producing great tasting fruit in cold weather.  They adapted really well to my climate.

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #92 on: 2020-02-20, 08:11:57 PM »
Oddly one of the best tasting early lines I have tried is segregating F2 or F3 Sungold. One tied with Sweet Cherriete when grown the same way. Odd only because it's so common and easily obtained.

I tried about 70 kinds in 2017 and still have seed for most of them. Picked about ten really interesting sorts and at least three of those have shortness of season as their primary skill. Sweet Cherriette, 42 days, Forest Fire,  Brad, and Jagodka all pretty much fall into the boring red extremely early category. Dwarf Hirsutum Cross is just a hair longer season but mildly intriguing for its habrochaites content.  For flavor I like the earliest yellows, segregating sungold, coyote, the commercial not quite cheesemanii Andrew sent me, Josephs bicolor Big Hill. I managed to cross two of the earlyish fancy tomatoes Blue Ambrosia and Amurski Tiger. Also have an early cross between probably one of Brad Gates blue bicolors and a random loft house land race potato leaf. It seems early but I wanted a more exserted stigma so I think I'll cross it to Big Hill. Eventually I want to get something equivelately early to the earliest reds in yellow and then I'll probably grow fewer boring reds. Lizzano intrigues me as an pretty early late blight resistant. I think it would be a really interesting one to select for extreme earliness while dehybridizing it. Just because I think we need an ultra early red thats late blight resistant in our breeding tool kit. Though am basing that assesment og Lizzano on just a couple F2 plants from seed Nathan sent me.

Sweet Cherriete definitely performed as advertised. It's supposed to be 35 days from transplant. That means when you transplant well grown vigourous 8 week old seedlings into a well prepared garden with good soil. I of course tortured them in all sorts of ways. Direct seeded they at least tied for first. Frozen to an inch above ground they resprouted and tied for first amongst the plants that did the same and so forth. Until last year when I combined torture regimes and direct seeded and dry farmed them. Though like I said I think that was that the not watering really magnifies the deficiencies in the less amended and naturally poorer soil.
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.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #93 on: 2020-02-21, 06:32:13 AM »
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-mexico/in-mexicos-cradle-of-corn-climate-change-leaves-its-mark-idUSKBN20F0OC

Corn loosing out to pistachios in the center of its diversity because of climate change induced drought.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/climate-change-is-affecting-crop-yields-and-reducing-global-food-supplies-118897

This second article talks about yields already declining. Its not going to magically happen in 2050 its alrady in decline.

I think evolutionary plant breeding is the correct response to the latter.  However that may not be possible with machine harvest but certainly is for us gardeners. Or under a scenario like that proposed in the "how to grow more vegetables" book where we go back to human labor.

The former problem seems intractable within crop once the limits of drought tolerance and drought avoidance mechanisms are reached. Thus the pistachios.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-21, 09:12:08 AM by William S. »
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Ocimum

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #94 on: 2020-02-22, 01:53:00 PM »
...
I think evolutionary plant breeding is the correct response to the latter.  However that may not be possible with machine harvest but certainly is for us gardeners. Or under a scenario like that proposed in the "how to grow more vegetables" book where we go back to human labor.
....

I think evolutionary plant breeding is still possible with machine harvesting: First you walk through to get the best cobs for seed, then you thresh by machine.
You could do a two step process: sow the mix of the best seeds in one hectare. Detassel poor looking ones, cull completely if they look bad. Harvest the seeds of the very best as foundation in one hectare for next year, then thresh the rest for seed in the other fields. Repeat and repeat. Preferably do this process in your worst, dryest, field.

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #95 on: 2020-02-22, 02:10:51 PM »
I'm not super familiar with machine harvest in Zea mays. In small grains uneven ripening like you would get with a grex or landrace is a problem for the machines. Not for hand harvesting though- apparently there it contributes to a good flavor profile.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-22, 09:01:23 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

spacecase0

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #96 on: 2020-02-22, 07:40:34 PM »
I think evolutionary plant breeding is still possible with machine harvesting: First you walk through to get the best cobs for seed, then you thresh by machine.
You could do a two step process: sow the mix of the best seeds in one hectare. Detassel poor looking ones, cull completely if they look bad. Harvest the seeds of the very best as foundation in one hectare for next year, then thresh the rest for seed in the other fields. Repeat and repeat. Preferably do this process in your worst, dryest, field.
I have seen university studies show that machine harvesting breeds plants that favor the harvesting being done. (sorry no links as I read this before the internet)
human or otherwise is about the same to the plants.
the large gains in harvest are there in about year 3, by 5 it is close to maximum, by year 7 you will likely see nothing better.
this was done on grains like wheat and barley

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #97 on: 2020-04-05, 03:28:15 PM »
https://www.euronews.com/amp/2020/04/01/the-best-way-prevent-future-pandemics-like-coronavirus-stop-eating-meat-and-go-vegan-view

I think we've discussed vegan ideas for climate change here. Here is one for pandemics.

There is a reasonable line of argument here. Pandemic is a symptom of climate change. Animals are the source of infection. Reducing animal agriculture should reduce agricultures foot print. Less foot print interaction with potential sources of new virus. There is also a historical argument. Here in the Americas indigenous people suffered as high as 90% mortality from smallpox. Cowpox is the vaccine, but livestock raising the source. So if we stop with the livestock we will probably have more food.

Though I still eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy and buy organic fertilizers made from animal blood, bones, and manure. Though sometimes these articles give me pause.
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

Steph S

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #98 on: 2020-04-30, 03:13:47 PM »
Whenever I hear a really simple solution for all our problems, it raises more questions than answers in my mind.
It reminds me of the conservation ideal, that we should "hands off" nature and somehow it will all return to "normal" - this is nonsense at this point in the game.  I doubt there is an ecosystem on earth that would somehow rally back to 'perfection' without any intervention or care on our part.  It is too messed up already.   And walling up humans away from nature is a terrible idea - we need to be more a part of it, not less, to my mind.
Human relationship with other animals is very complex.  Interactions are certain to occur whether it's about eating them or not. 
So what happens if you eliminate farm animals?  People have pets.  People have zoos.  People have gardens that birds and animals visit and use as part of their habitat.    You don't even have to be near an "edge" to interact with wild birds and animals.  It may be rodents and pigeons if you're urban, doesn't matter.   There's no reason these animals can't be vectors for new diseases to jump to humans.   
I agree it is a bad idea to capture and farm wild animals for exotic food market.  Eliminate that and we could reduce the risk of the next pandemic, or extend the timeline some.   I also agree that every animal in our care, including farm animals, should be kept in healthy conditions.  Even the wild animals that cross our path should be kept healthy to the extent that we can, by providing what they need for health in the habitat.
But going completely vegan in the world, and completely  eliminating farm animals will not ever eliminate the risk of a viral crossover from animals in the wild.  I find it disturbing that a whole class of mutualistic animal relationships should be considered for elimination, and cite protection of our health as justification.  Animals and relationships/interactions with animals are a "risk" to us - to our fictional empire of healthy vegan humans.   This attitude seems fundamentally wrong to me.
Nature has begotten viruses among everything else.  Viruses and bacteria, probably the most vital building blocks of nature itself when it becomes necessary to adapt to extreme changes.  The risk to me as an individual is part of the bargain of being alive. 
If I had to name the top vector for EVERY pandemic it won't be bats, civets, racoon dogs or cows, chickens, and pigs.  The top vector is called "air travel", with or without your support animals and pets.  You can eat chick peas all day long, and you won't change that!
/rant  ::)

Adrian

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #99 on: 2020-06-02, 03:04:52 PM »
For me the principal problem will not necessary the high or low t° but the effect arround drought and extrem humidity.I will selected for a plant able to grow very fast with a high humidity and give fruit in the dry period and able to make a  roots easily and in big quantity and tolerant at the cutting. For the squash.
For the corn i think at a corn able to tillering after a very bad conditions wich kill the principal rod.  Thr people use not good the genetics of the tomato wich for me is very interessant: we could be cutting the tomato and she could be make a root in her rod. We could be allonged the rod of tomato in the ground and she make easily a root! And tutor all the secondary rods!
« Last Edit: 2020-06-02, 03:51:14 PM by Adrian »

William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #100 on: 2022-01-06, 11:48:27 AM »
I got some seed back from the Experimental Farm Network Guatemalan Green Ayote squash which I notice is back in their store today and a probable cross with same in 2021. I think of it as a climate resilience breeding project adapting a very far southern squash to a northern climate.

I also as mentioned in other threads recently purchased a heat resistant tomato variety to add such genetics to my tomatoes. Continuing to think about this. I would also add that breeding for disease and insect resistance in tomatoes and other crops should probably be thought of as climate change breeding as well.

In another vein simply crossing or allowing varieties to cross in our gardens and seed saving the results is probably pretty good climate change breeding because segregating populations self-select for the conditions, they are raised in whereas homozygous populations have no such opportunity to adapt.
« Last Edit: 2022-01-06, 11:52:59 AM by William S. »
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Steph S

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #101 on: 2022-01-06, 02:52:24 PM »
I am on the lookout for heat resistance in tomatoes too.  And even more so, wondering about mildew resistance, since that is a big issue when it stays hot and humid for weeks.  I agree William, that having segregating lines in our gardens will allow adaptation to occur and for us to select.   But IDK about the limits of tomatoes to be adaptable to extreme conditions, especially multiple extremes.  Maybe most important, that we maintain multiple lines, some cold tolerant, some heat tolerant, some flood tolerant, some drought tolerant, etc, and just expect one or the other to do best in a given condition..

I was really interested to see what happened with our bumblebees this year.  The snow we had on June 10 was a real setback for them.  Maybe some died, maybe the whole first generation, I'm not sure.  But they didn't bounce back.  The numbers only started to rebuild after midseason.  And then they didn't extend their season into the fall, although it was still summer weather.  The plants had finished early in the heat, and the bees did too.  And they put out just a huge number of males.  I've never seen so many boy bees, all over the garden in first days of September.   So this is an obvious climate change situation, and the bumblebee response to multiple extreme conditions in the same season was to mix it up.  Invest in many male genomes and stir the pot for offspring that survive next season.  Plants will do the same, I have no doubt that crosses in extreme weather or extreme seasons are more likely to produce unusual adaptive traits.

I'm really looking forward to working with peas, especially after reading that they have a high mutation rate compared to other legumes.  So apart from being a shorter season crop, they may well be a very adaptable crop - we shall see.
One thing I have no doubt, there will be a lot of stresses on crops in foreseeable future.





William S.

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Re: Climate Change Breeding
« Reply #102 on: 2022-01-06, 03:39:35 PM »
I agree a bet hedging strategy is a good idea during climate change. Plant a section of heat resistant tomatoes, a section of cold weather resistant tomatoes, and so forth because it seems like every few years here, we get a different summer climate for the summer!

Some crops may just reach or exceed their ecological limits also even in the same field they once grew in fine including possibly colder weather! We can only get what genes we can access and at some point, we may have to drop a crop or move ourselves if close to the ecological limits of a species. Alternatively, we might find ourselves able to grow things we never could before. Here in Montana finding a different climate and habitat is often as simple as driving up or down hill. I gave some tomato seed a few years ago to someone living in the Blackfoot valley and they grew it in a greenhouse!

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