Author Topic: Fava breeding  (Read 7064 times)

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,273
  • Karma: 60
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #30 on: 2020-02-20, 05:14:58 PM »
So its February 20th and I just planted my fava bean grex which I am thinking of now as Montana Rainbow Fava in the bases of three old sawdust and bark piles on February 20th. Mowed, rototilled, then scattered a bag of the 2018 harvest on each and rototilled it in. Saved a bag for later replanting if needed.

I didn't plant any favas in 2019 because I left about half of the 2018 seed production on the plants. Volunteers existed, fall volunteers died over winter. However some seeds managed to wait till an appropriate time and I got 3 or 4 plants. All mid sized boring and tan colored. Wonder of they are hard seeded. Got about 20 seeds or so for my troubles. If a volunteer strain is possible it's an extreme selection process for sure.

Bought three new kinds from Siskiyou seeds an Andean mix a brown speckled, and a fingerprint fava. Plan to add them in but didn't plant them today. Probably will plant a special patch of them with the 2019 volunteers in March at the usual time.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-24, 08:38:16 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

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,273
  • Karma: 60
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #31 on: 2020-03-06, 06:55:32 PM »
It's open burning season in my county! No permit needed to burn till the end of April. So I burned my accumulated brush pile and planted some more fava beans in the resulting ash, charcoal, and mud as I put it out with the hose. Well is working fine because of the dry spring. It tends to flood and need a new part in wet springs. So was able to use the hose.

Will go back out and plant more favas in a day or two. Got tired of poking them in.
« Last Edit: 2020-03-06, 07:12:19 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

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,273
  • Karma: 60
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #32 on: 2020-03-08, 05:46:14 PM »
Planted the rest of my fava seed today March 8th. Might have a couple saved seeds left somewhere but the four grocery bags are all in the ground.

Also managed to till up the fenced garden today as the soil tilt was good. Found one errant purple fava seed while doing so proving that the rodents still translocate my seeds on occassion.
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

Ryan M Miller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #33 on: 2021-03-11, 05:25:30 PM »
One possible route I have been considering in breeding fava beans is crossing them with other species of vetch to introduce improved frost hardiness, disease resistance, and possibly perennial plant development. Because the crop wild relative of fava beans has not yet been discovered or may potentially be extinct, it appears that the best method of introducing new genetics into fava beans may be from interspecific crosses with other vetch species. Joseph Lofthouse has successfully used the interspecific cross-pollination method to introduce self-incompatibility, increased flower size, and improved flavor in his promiscuously pollinating tomato project, so I wouldn't be surprised if some similar approach were also possible with fava beans.

Garrett Schantz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 499
  • Karma: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dfa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #34 on: 2021-03-11, 06:11:18 PM »
Some Vicia species are toxic to non ruminants, so I would be careful with such a project.

Fava beans appear to cross pollinate naturally. Introducing self incompatibility probably isn't needed.

Could try planting some Vicia species near fava beans, something fun might happen.

Embryo rescue or some other things could be attempted if these species are too far apart.

Joseph Lofthouse

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 404
  • Karma: 53
  • Great Basin desert, Rocky Mountains
    • Open Source Plant Breeding Forum, founder. World Tomato Society, ambassador. Plant Breeder. Yogi. Shaman.
    • View Profile
    • Garden.Lofthouse.com
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dsa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA Zone 5
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #35 on: 2021-03-11, 06:33:57 PM »
Vicia pannonica and Vicia sativa ssp nigra have the same chromosome count as fava beans. If I were attempting this sort of project, I'd start with those species. The other Vicia species that I checked have different chromosome numbers than fava, which makes crossing much more difficult.

At my place, fava beans are about 30% outcrossing. Because of that, they have retained a lot of diversity.

Bean poisons are easy to taste. I haven't been selecting against poisonous beans, because the low level toxins in the varieties that I eat regularly are minimized by soaking, sprouting, and cooking at high temperatures.

Ryan M Miller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #36 on: 2021-03-11, 06:49:21 PM »
Various types of favas.
By the way, where did you find the round, dark-colored fava beans? They look like they belong to the paucijuga group of fava cultivars.
« Last Edit: 2021-03-14, 08:24:21 PM by Ryan M Miller »

Joseph Lofthouse

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 404
  • Karma: 53
  • Great Basin desert, Rocky Mountains
    • Open Source Plant Breeding Forum, founder. World Tomato Society, ambassador. Plant Breeder. Yogi. Shaman.
    • View Profile
    • Garden.Lofthouse.com
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dsa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA Zone 5
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #37 on: 2021-03-11, 07:05:50 PM »
Most likely, they are a hybrid unique to my garden. The ancestor traits may have come from the Roughwood Collection. They might have come to me as covercrop seed. People send me random seeds. I may have traded with someone, or collected them at a seed swap. I don't don't want to be owned by the stories nor the labels, so I ditch both as soon as seed arrives at my garden.


Ryan M Miller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #38 on: 2021-03-11, 07:21:02 PM »
Vicia pannonica and Vicia sativa ssp nigra have the same chromosome count as fava beans. If I were attempting this sort of project, I'd start with those species. The other Vicia species that I checked have different chromosome numbers than fava, which makes crossing much more difficult.

At my place, fava beans are about 30% outcrossing. Because of that, they have retained a lot of diversity.

Bean poisons are easy to taste. I haven't been selecting against poisonous beans, because the low level toxins in the varieties that I eat regularly are minimized by soaking, sprouting, and cooking at high temperatures.

A few other species of vetch that share the 2n=12 chromosome number of Vicia faba besides Vicia sativa and Vicia pannonica are V. angustifolia, V. dalmatica, V. macrocarpa, and V. hyrcanica. Some of these species are not available through the USDA germplasm seed bank (Vicia angustifolia and Vicia macrocarpa), so any plant breeder would have to look elsewhere for seed from these species.

Another thing to keep in mind when making interspecies crosses with fava beans is that chromosome number does not necessarily prevent interfertility; for example, przewalski horses (Equus ferus przewalskii) have 26 chromosomes per cell while domesticated horses (Equus ferus caballus) have 24 chromosomes per cell. Nevertheless, Przewalski horses are still interfertile with domesticated horses and are fully capable of producing fertile offspring. I'm assuming a similar interfertility phenomenon might occur between different species of vetch when performing interspecies cross-pollinations.

Garrett Schantz

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 499
  • Karma: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dfa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #39 on: 2021-03-12, 07:43:36 AM »
Being the same species - genetically almost identical probably helps. Chromosomes don't matter as much if a bunch of genes-DNA are unable to pair up. Arctic foxes and Red foxes are probably able to reproduce (seemingly infertile offspring though) even with quite a different number of chromosomes. This is likely due to having DNA match up well enough.
Lions and tigers can have fertile female offspring.

Oriental and American bittersweet both have the same amount of chromosomes, they cross freely. Finding plants that hybridize easily with differing chromosome counts is uncommon I think.

Pisum species have the same chromosome count. But they have different karyotypes among other things, which can lead to sterile/semi fertile offspring.
Phaseolus hybrids seem to behave similarly to the pea hybrids in some cases.

Mentioned those two due to being in the Fabaceae with Fava beans.

I would try out Vicia species with the same chromosome count first like Joseph said. If you are able to get other species, try those out as well.

Vicia angustifolia and Vicia macrocarpa are considered subspecies by most sources. So they may be listed as Vicia sativa on the USDA germplasm resource.


Looking forward to any results that you may have.

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,273
  • Karma: 60
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #40 on: 2021-03-14, 11:35:33 AM »
My Fava breeding plans for 2021 are minor.

I hope to plant some isolated patches of identical looking seeds from my Montana Rainbow Fava grex and especially the 2020 additions like the fingerprint fava and see what segregates out.

It is fava planting time here as the snow is melting off rapidly so will see what I get planted.
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

Ryan M Miller

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #41 on: 2021-03-14, 06:35:37 PM »
Based on a few journal articles, it seems that the vetch species that are most genetically similar to fava beans (Vicia faba) are the specis in the V. peregrina complex. This includes at least Vicia peregrina, Vicia michauxii, and Vicia aintabensis. These species have 14 chromosomes per cell rather than 12 chromosomes per cell as in fava beans. Nevertheless, the chromosome number may not entirely be a barrier to cross-breeding. Here are the links to the journal articles I found:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/216738539_Karyological_Studies_on_Some_Taxa_of_the_Genus_Vicia_L_Fabaceae

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260098782_Internal_transcribed_spacer_sequences_of_nuclear_ribosomal_DNA_resolving_complex_taxonomic_history_in_the_genus_Vicia_L

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225580701_Cladistic_and_phenetic_analysis_of_relationships_in_Vicia_subgenus_Vicia_Fabaceae_by_morphology_and_isozymes


William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,273
  • Karma: 60
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #42 on: 2021-04-05, 07:34:22 AM »
I planted an isolated row of half strength purple- kind of expecting it to be single dose heterozygous for purple. To see if it segregates. Also an isolated row of the fingerprint strain to see if it shows some segregation. Then a isolated row of some extra colorful ones including my new to me packet from Joseph and some of the other newish strains I've only grown one generation of.
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

Joseph Lofthouse

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 404
  • Karma: 53
  • Great Basin desert, Rocky Mountains
    • Open Source Plant Breeding Forum, founder. World Tomato Society, ambassador. Plant Breeder. Yogi. Shaman.
    • View Profile
    • Garden.Lofthouse.com
    • Email
  • Koppen zone: Dsa
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA Zone 5
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #43 on: 2021-04-05, 01:30:30 PM »
I pre-soaked, and planted,  the new phenotypes of favas that I got from William.

William S.

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,273
  • Karma: 60
    • Botanist, gardener, and science teacher.
    • View Profile
  • Koppen zone: Dfb Googled
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA zone 6A
Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #44 on: 2021-04-05, 01:58:20 PM »
I got those new types from Siskiyou seeds and grew them in 2020 mixed with my Montana Rainbow grex their Andean mix, brown speckled, and Ur Kupina. The Ur-Kupina is the fingerprint one. First time I've gotten my hands on one of those. I plan to keep track of any hoped for fingerprint segregates to see if I can get additional fingerprint colors. I didn't presoak but I did recently water the three patches fairly heavily. Last year it got too dry for germination.

I saw a post of fava bean diversity from Joseph Simcox not long ago.  I think he is the one who posted the first post I saw about the fingerprint ones. There is a lot of fava diversity out there. I kind of want even more colors.

The third bed I planted was the packet of Lofthouse favas Joseph sent with the garden copy in 2020 and the diversity I could scrounge out of the keeper bin similar to what I sent Joseph both the original mix of Lofthouse, Ianto's Return, Frog Island Nation, Windsor and the new Siskiyou seeds in 2020. I think my Montana Rainbow grex would benefit from Joseph's practice of equalizing color contributions next year lots of the colors / variations are rare purple and tan are most common.
« Last Edit: 2021-04-05, 02:16:19 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