Author Topic: Adapting plants to new climates  (Read 2078 times)

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 31
    • View Profile
Adapting plants to new climates
« on: 2018-12-02, 09:49:42 PM »
It seems like a fair number of our projects current and former collectively are adaptation projects.

Part of that is us learning to grow new things. I am better adapted to growing fava beans then I was a couple years ago.

With wild tomato species, there seems to be a lot of variation in adaptability. I'd like to be able to direct seed more of them.

One example: I tried a packet of domestic devils claw from native seed search. It didn't adapt and went extinct this year but it was tantalizingly close. If I bought a few more packets and tried again it just might!

The native seed search catalogue is a minefield of this for me. Interesting land race varieties but often only the high elevation sorts do well for me this far north. Often though when I have tried they tend to be on the edge of viability. I've thought it would be kind of cool to do systematic adaptation of that diversity to the north.



Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

Gilbert Fritz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #1 on: 2018-12-03, 08:46:34 AM »
I agree; their stuff is really interesting. I was just looking at it the other day; 60 day corn, high altitude squash, etc.

Andrew Barney

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 220
  • Karma: 25
  • Northern Colorado, Semi-Arid Climate, USA
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #2 on: 2018-12-03, 12:29:54 PM »

One example: I tried a packet of domestic devils claw from native seed search. It didn't adapt and went extinct this year but it was tantalizingly close. If I bought a few more packets and tried again it just might!


I saw a devil's claw plant in my garden this year. I haven't planted them in several years, though I originally got them from native seeds search. I could go see if it produced a fruit and send it to you.

But keep in mind that not all of them sprout and grow the first year,  sometimes seeds sprout the next. For me anyway.

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #3 on: 2018-12-03, 12:43:08 PM »
I saw a devil's claw plant in my garden this year. I haven't planted them in several years, though I originally got them from native seeds search. I could go see if it produced a fruit and send it to you.

But keep in mind that not all of them sprout and grow the first year,  sometimes seeds sprout the next. For me anyway.

Yeah I got a volunteer from seed that was dormant. So I should say "probably extinct" instead of extinct.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

Mike Jennings

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 25
  • Karma: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #4 on: 2019-01-14, 10:43:08 PM »
One of my breeding goals is to work on adapting plants to new climates. I live in California, about 25 miles from the ocean. We get occasional summer fog, but also lots of heat from the nearby central valley; 8 frost-free months, and mild winters resulting in a pretty much year round growing season. Needless to say, I can get a lot of crops to grow here, even if they don't really thrive at first.

I want to start working on adapting tropical and day-length sensitive crops species to my climate, while keeping them intentionally as diverse as possible, and eventually start sharing them with breeders in other northern climates. This year I was able to produce small amounts of seed from Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea), and Chia (Salvia hispanica). The Chia is day-length sensitive, and doesn't start flowering until the days get down to 11.8 hours long. The first flower in my garden opened on October 21st. I wonder how much earlier I can push that first flowering date. Will I be able to select a day-neutral chia over time, or is that trait firmly fixed in the genetics of the species? There was certainly lots of variation in flowering date -- with some plants just beginning to flower in mid-December.

Some crops, like the devils claw that William mentioned, already grow fine here. I figure I could work on collecting a bunch of different varieties/sources of those, let them mix or cross them manually, spend a few seasons selecting for earliness, and then start sending them out for breeders in other climates to trial.

With vegetatively propagated crops, this may involve restoring fertility and seed production (as Reed has done with sweet potatoes).

I was hoping members of this forum could help me with a list crops that you wish you could grow in your climate. I only have so much garden space, so I will have to be somewhat selective with which crops I put a lot of effort into.

Is your climate to hot or too cool for some crop you would really like to grow? Let me know!

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #5 on: 2019-01-14, 11:20:01 PM »
Mike, One specific variety I wanted to tackle is NSS Rancho Marquess land race moschata. I actually bought a packet and planted with Loft house land race but I planted too late in 2018 because of rototiller and time issues. I think it would be easier to start some of these adaptation projects in the south and ship part of the F2 North.

This is an interspecies tomato thought but there are several tomato species that grow OK in California but not without extreme intervention here. Crossing such a species to a short season tomato accession from the north such as Big Hill would be a huge boon for northern breeders. Though embryo rescue might be necessary.


« Last Edit: 2019-01-14, 11:49:23 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #6 on: 2019-01-21, 08:19:32 PM »
Just decided to try again and ordered a new packet of Rancho Marques moschata squash from Native Seed Search. Plan as last year is to cross it with Lofthouse Moschata to try to get a shorter season squash like Rancho Marques.

https://shop.nativeseeds.org/collections/squash-butternuts-big-cheeses/products/em025

https://adapts.nativeseeds.org/index.php/adapts?mode=view&accession_number=E03-006#photos
« Last Edit: 2019-01-21, 08:27:12 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

Diane Whitehead

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 102
  • Karma: 21
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #7 on: 2019-01-21, 10:39:23 PM »
One vegetable I enjoyed when I lived in Borneo was the 4-angled bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus.
It is native to New Guinea, so definitely would not be happy in the Pacific NW.

However, a daylength neutral one has been developed in Japan, and I've bought seeds this year
from Baker Creek.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Ocimum

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 58
  • Karma: 12
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #8 on: 2019-01-22, 11:51:37 AM »
About the 4-angled bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, or Asparagus-pea:

A swiss company offers a variety as well.
https://www.zollinger.bio/en/products/226-asparagus-pea-winged-pea-asparagus-pea

I also love the taste, at least of the tropical varieties.

Diane Whitehead

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 102
  • Karma: 21
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #9 on: 2019-01-22, 01:30:34 PM »
No, different genus.  There is a well-known seed-saving book that has the two plants confused.

The Swiss seeds are for the low-growing hardy one, native around the Mediterranean  - asparagus pea or winged pea - Tetragonolobus purpureus

The tropical one, four-angled bean or winged bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, is big - a couple of metres high.  Perennial.  Edible roots, shoots, flowers, pods.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

bill

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 83
  • Karma: 17
  • USA, WA Coast
    • View Profile
    • Cultivariable
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #10 on: 2019-01-22, 01:52:47 PM »
Will I be able to select a day-neutral chia over time, or is that trait firmly fixed in the genetics of the species? There was certainly lots of variation in flowering date -- with some plants just beginning to flower in mid-December.

If you want to understand photoperiodism at a deep level, pick up a copy of Photoperiodism in Plants, Thomas & Vince-Prue.  It has a discussion of the genetics involved, among many other useful things.  Almost everything that we know about the genetics of photoperiod has come from Arabidopsis research, where photoperiod mutants have been obtained primarily through mutagenesis.

In my experience, breeding for longer critical photoperiod is a pretty slow process.  I have never seen a seedling spontaneously go from short day to long day.  I have seen small, incremental gains.  These are in clonally propagated crops, where I don't have to stabilize the trait.  It seems likely that the process will be much more difficult in seed-propagated plants.  It is probably a numbers game.

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #11 on: 2019-01-22, 02:02:14 PM »
 Its already been done in Chia, but the result is proprietary.

http://www.uky.edu/ccd/production/crop-resources/gffof/chia

Not sure what approach the Kentucky researchers took. Maybe they made some publications that could be instructive.

It sounds also like the result of traditional breeding non-gmo which suggests that at some point the varieties will become public domain? Also the possibility that perhaps the varieties could be used in further breeding? Though not sure how many named varieties of Salvia Hispanic exist or what real difference you could create in a offspring variety.

I've found that Salvia columbariae and Salvia carduacea from California are relatively easy to grow here in Ronan Montana. Therefore it stands to reason to me that if someone worked with large enough population sizes of Salvia hispanica in California for long enough they would adapt to California and from there be highly adaptable here. So Mike's approach has merit, but I wonder if he has enough space. I would think a 1 acre field might support a reasonably large population. Radiation to amp up the mutation rate might help and allow a somewhat smaller population. A relatively small increase in seed number would be extremely adaptive as you put the population through generations. If several such mutations occurred and could be combined a productive northern chia might happen relatively fast.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-22, 02:18:38 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A

Ocimum

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 58
  • Karma: 12
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #12 on: 2019-01-22, 02:40:15 PM »
Thanks for pointing out my mistake, learned a lot!

Diane Whitehead

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 102
  • Karma: 21
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #13 on: 2019-01-22, 04:12:49 PM »
Where did you eat the tropical ones?  Any chance of seeds?
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

B. Copping

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 86
  • Karma: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Adapting plants to new climates
« Reply #14 on: 2019-01-22, 05:58:57 PM »
No, different genus.  There is a well-known seed-saving book that has the two plants confused.

I had wondered about that, but hadn’t done any further reading on the matter.
Another book that I use to “corrupt” serious gardeners who don’t yet save seeds. ;)

I think Richters carries a day-neutral winged bean.