Author Topic: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project  (Read 959 times)

Andrew Barney

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Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« on: 2021-04-23, 09:42:37 PM »
I am partly surprised this is not an official thread yet.

Joseph, can you highlight where this project is at (or copy and paste if you have mentioned that already somewhere else)? Maybe provide some background info for those reading this thread who have never heard of the "Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project"? Where do you see it already heading and where do you hope it will go?

For those interested Joseph did a wonderful podcast about it here:
https://www.foodgardenlife.com/show/2020/11/26/promiscuous-tomato-breeding

I got a last minute seed order from the experimental farm network.

Among the seeds i got were:
BH-series Panamourous Tomato
Q-series Panamorous Tomato
Neandermato
Brad Tomato
Jagodka Tomato
Exserted Orange Tomato

"Wildling Panamorous Tomato" was sold out. Is this line interesting and worth coveting?

Actually, what are the best lines from what I ordered? Where are the mango and pineapple tasting fruits I keep hearing about?  ;) Or are those lines too precious to give out yet? If so, which lines am I most likely to find something useful and edible? Which lines have the most exciting genetics or genetic combinations? I'm thinking the BH derived lines.

William S.

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #1 on: 2021-04-23, 10:34:10 PM »
Q Series sounds like what you would be liable to find my favorite sorts from 2020 in. Oranges and bicolors... sounds a little like a mix of all the 2020 elites I grew.

Exserted Orange is my portion of Malcolms 2017 cross with Big Hill. Joseph grew it in 2018 and sent me seed for 2019. The 2019 grow out I did produced one plant with really lovely exsertion. So I grew out its seed in 2020 in isolation and repledged my portion of the population to OSSI or at least submitted such a pledge. Have a 2021 order for an oz of it so am growing again. I plan to reselect it. 2020 might contain some bicolor variation either from segregating or backcrossing to Big Hill and I didn't check every plant for exsertion as carefully as exserted Tiger (which got culled carefully in 2020). In many ways it is very similar to the A1/A2 lines which I think correspond to the Q series. I don't really think it's obligate outcrossing but did not check carefully. This year I'll try to cull it harder and check a few things.

BH sounds like XL. I couldn't help but plant a little clump of XL again from the one with the first ripe fruit last year. That particular tomato tasted great for a red. Would not be surprised if some bicolors segregated out of this but nome did for me last year. Also not completely convinced that there isn't some obligate outcrossing in this line. I thought the earliest was an obligate outcrossers based on blossom drop. However the consistent red color made me wonder if they were selfing generally.

Neandermato is Joseph's habrochaites population maybe with a little backcrossing added. I'm growing three plants of the same back cross line as last year. Grew them adjacent to LA2329 habrochaites crossing is possible. Not sure what my 2021 intent with them is if anything. Might put them with the XL and a few plants of A1/A2 G2 (probably pretty equivelant to Q series). Also an odd cracking bicolor that showed up in 2019. It was the worst tomato. Cracking, sprawling on the ground. Planted a few seeds though because uh it also might have been an underrated for 2019 interspecies hybrid with Big Hill ancestry.

I am growing Brad and two strains of Jagodka again but not sure why. Plenty of their genetics in crossed lines. Including Big Hill, the promiscuous lines, and Chariot both of which I am growing again. Maybe just to save a smidgeon of seed from to refresh my stock.

I think R18 and S35,36,37 are selections from something similar to A1/A2 (similar to Q series)? All yellow sorts.

One thing I wonder about is all the seed I saved from not isolated Big Hill in 2018 and 2019. There might be some interspecies hybrids in there.

I inherited a bulk bag of "compost" my wife rejected cause it is sort of a local ranchers quarantine gardening cash in project and honestly it's just ranch manure with weed seed in it. After helping her spread her replacement compost I spread it today in two lines. Going to put sand on that and then the 0.3 oz of bicolor and orange seed from this project will be my 2021 direct seeded rows hopefully tomorrow. I think it will work because I direct seeded the seed from the green wild type Big Hill x W4 seed I grew in 2019 in 2020 and it did great save for not producing any elites. Not sure about the quantity though. If it doesn't do both rows maybe I'll seed  some of that 2018 and 2019 Big Hill seed.
« Last Edit: 2021-04-23, 11:21:39 PM by William S. »
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Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #2 on: 2021-04-23, 11:17:05 PM »
Here is the most up-to-date and accurate pedigree. Each line/dot represents between 1 to 20 plants. Therefore, the pedigree is greatly simplified.

Simultaneously, I'm doing a parallel back-crossing project. I figure that back-crossing may do a better job of maintaining an intact self-incompatible system.

Q-series were tasty, super-early, and dwarf/determinate, with red or orange fruits. The flavor of the orange fruits is highly preferred by the taste panels, and gets described as fruity/melon. Early flowers dropped without setting fruit, but that doesn't mean that they are self-incompatible. We didn't test. They most closely resemble Jagodka, one of the domestic ancestors to Big Hill. I am only replanting the orange-fruited plants.

A1/A2 were saladette/yellow-fruited siblings to the ancestor of BH series.

BH series is an anomaly to me. It has huge petals, and a highly exposed stigma. If nothing else, I call it panamorous. It didn't set fruit when grown in my bedroom window overwinter. Outdoors, it doesn't segregate as much as I would expect if it were self-incompatible. It is a large beefsteak (the most anomalous trait). It is red-fruited, therefore, I'm not continuing work on it. There is a fair amount of pink, or bi-color fruits showing up. One of the offspring last fall had green-gel around the seeds, which is very flavorful. Another grower is working on that line. In previous generations, I called this line C/3-1, C31, or BH-XL.

Wildling is everything else from the current generation. Fruits are saladette sized, yellow, pink, red, or orange. This is the most genetically diverse seed that I have. Plant phenotypes and flavors are highly diverse. I am replanting seeds only from yellow and orange fruited plants with highly exerted stigmas, huge petals, and that acted self-incompatible early in the season.

Neandermato is my grex of Solanum habrochaites accessions. It may also include back crosses to domestic tomatoes (including the pennellii lines). Once in a while I find leaves/stems that have a slight domestic look about them, and some of the fruits contain 3 locules instead of the typical 2. I think that's a domestic influence as well.  I haven't found a non-green fruit in the population. Sometimes I stare a long time at a fruit, thinking that it has a yellow blush.

Brad and Jagodka are fully domestic. They are tied for the earliest tomatoes that I grow. Both are ancestors to the Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project.





Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #3 on: 2021-04-23, 11:56:37 PM »
Actually, what are the best lines from what I ordered? Where are the mango and pineapple tasting fruits I keep hearing about?  ;) Or are those lines too precious to give out yet? If so, which lines am I most likely to find something useful and edible? Which lines have the most exciting genetics or genetic combinations? I'm thinking the BH derived lines.

Q-series, Wildling, BH-series, A1/A2, and Exserted Orange are all derived from Big Hill. Basically, at this point, all of the publicly released seed is descended from Big Hill.

Q-series is a subset of Wildling.
R18 is a highly promiscuous plant selected from Wildling
S35,36,37 were highly promiscuous, and highly favored by the taste panel. Again, selected from the Wildling.

The 2018/19 Winter cross population were labeled W followed by a number. I didn't plant any of that seed this year. I think William might have, and I may yet plant a few plants from a yellow fruited plant that I grew last year. W# were pollen parents to Big Hill (BH X W4). W# were also crossed with each other, but that part of the project languished cause seed came back so late in the season. I may plant a yellow fruited selection from  W2 X W4. It is a 3 species hybrid.

Q-series is the safest variety. Most likely to be useful and edible. Seems like they may be selfing, or somewhat panamorous. They grew close together, so if they crossed, it was most likely to other Q plants. The flavor of the oranges is melon-like. The reds are tomato-like. If the end product of this project was orange fruited, melon tasting, on early determinate plants, with exposed stigmas, I'd feel really content. 

Q-series, and wildling were grown in isolation from wild varieties. Getting close to stabilizing for non-green fruits. (There was one green fruited plant in a patch of 108 plants last year.)

Why Q? When I started breeding tomatoes, I numbered the rows A, B, C, D.... I'm not repeating row numbers so that each plant can have an identifier that is unique across all time.... (In theory... There were duplicates of A, B, and C. Ooops!!!) Big Hill was originally the 9th plant in the H row, which was a row of about 32 siblings of the F2 of Hillbilly X Jagodka. Therefore, it's original name was HX9.

I keep chasing the exotic flavors, which are in the wildling line in the orange, yellow, pink, bicolor, and white fruits. Wildling also has the citrus, acidic, and tomato-like flavors. I'm not a fan. Wildling is by far the most genetically diverse.

This summer, I hope to work on increasing the diversity of Neandermato. It would be clever to make some manual crosses.

I have seriously reduced the number of fields that I farm, which hampers my isolation options. I'm paying close attention to keep the wilds separate from the elites.





« Last Edit: 2021-04-24, 01:42:24 PM by Joseph Lofthouse »

William S.

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #4 on: 2021-04-24, 12:24:44 AM »

The 2018/19 Winter cross population were labeled W followed by a number. I didn't plant any of that seed this year. I think William might have, and I may yet plant a few plants from a yellow fruited plant that I grew last year. W# were pollen parents to Big Hill (BH X W4). W# were also crossed with each other, but that part of the project languished cause seed came back so late in the season. I may plant a yellow fruited selection from  W2 X W4. It is a 3 species hybrid.


I am not sure if I have. My biggest 2021 concentration is on the bicolors I pulled out of the C31 x  A1/A2 3 species BH x W F3 winter 2019/2020 2020 growout. I have multiple trays of seedlings of the bicolors and will be direct seeding the more.diverse bicolor/orange seed mix tomorrow.

Then I have the new to me R18 and S35,36,37.

Then a little XL

Then a weirdly elite cracking bicolor thing from 2019 but from 2018 seed not 2018/19 winter seed. Don't remember what it was supposed to be.

The BHXW4 winter 2018/19 seed I got and grew in 2019 produced 13 wild type plants. I saved every scrap of seed they produced and planted it all in 2020. Both as seedlings and by direct seeding. I don't think I saved a single seed. I started to a couple times, but none were elite by 2020 standards. They may have pollinated back cross hab lines from Joseph or LA2329. They may have also pollinated some domestics but I am uncertain if there was any seed saved from a domestic with good exsertion. I rather hope they do not volunteer as I want to grow bicolor elites in that field this year. Thus the compost and sand layer underneath this year's direct seeding- try to eliminate some volunteering.
« Last Edit: 2021-04-24, 12:35:14 AM by William S. »
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Garrett Schantz

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #5 on: 2021-04-24, 12:36:27 AM »
Of the seeds I bought Wildling and Q-Series are of the most interest to me. I have found that I don't really care for red tomatoes - orange, cream / white appear to be my favorites, still don't care for many though. And then there are the fruity flavors which are also nice.

BH-series took about a week longer than the others to germinate. I planted a later batch as well, BH-series is still taking its time.

I will probably be able people around me who enjoy red tomatoes taste things from the BH group. Maybe I can get other people interested in this project, people could select from what they like and make their own lines, intermixing them every so often.

I will still be tasting everything regardless of fruit color - undertones might still stand out enough to warrant keeping them.


I was hoping to get LA1777 at some point - Neandermato seems better though considering it is a grex, better flowers, cold hardiness.


In terms of exciting genetics or genetic combinations, I would say wildling is the most interesting. It doesn't have large fruits like BH, but I am assuming it will have a lot of diversity in terms of flavor, fruit size / color - among other traits. Whatever Joseph is currently selecting out of it will probably taste decent enough to me - I don't care for red - acidic tomatoes. Should be fun to experiment a bit with it on my own.

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #6 on: 2021-04-24, 11:02:10 AM »
This year's seed has mostly germinated for this project. Arrival of the greenhouse has been delayed 2-3 weeks. Yikes!!!! I get to figure that out in the next few days.

I planted all the remaining seed from my original accession of Solanum pennellii. Maybe this time around, I have enough experience with it to give it better growing conditions.

I planted a large population of back-crosses with habrochaites cytoplasm. Feeling serious about selecting for more elite traits.

I planted a large population of Neandermato, and all of my remaining seed from the original accessions. Wanting to keep the diversity high. Adding in William's arthropod resistant variety.

Q4 and Q12 germinated in high numbers. They were the most elite of the Q-series. Orange fruited. Exserted stigmas. Saladette. Determinate. Tasty!

S35/36/37 didn't germinate well. Sigh.

Many of the overwintering clones are still alive. They were the most promiscuous-looking in the Idaho field.

I planted a purely domestic line: potato-leaved and yellow fruited. It is a segregate from Chariot [Brad X Yellow pear]. Seems like it would be a perfect parent for bee-assisted, or free-lance pollination, because crosses can be identified as soon as the first set of true-leaves emerge. And it's not red. I'm calling the population "Yellow Brad".

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #7 on: 2021-04-24, 11:07:04 AM »
The entire project has the potential for large fruits, because Big Hill was a beefsteak, and all publicly released seed is descended from Big Hill.

The primary supporter of the project values saladette sized fruits, therefore, I'm steering my selection in that direction.


William S.

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #8 on: 2021-04-24, 12:08:27 PM »
I'm growing out a few plants of a yellow selection of chariot. Similar to "yellow Brad". I think I spotted a potato leaf segregate too if memory serves mostly regular leaf as well. I've been taking forever and a day to grow out my original envelope of Chariot so growing a few of those too. Would really like to have a nicely exserted yellow potato leaf just for a breeding tool. Might be able to get there in a couple years.
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Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #9 on: 2021-04-24, 01:34:33 PM »
Would really like to have a nicely exserted yellow potato leaf just for a breeding tool. Might be able to get there in a couple years.

I agree. I'll intend to add that to my breeding goals.

William S.

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #10 on: 2021-04-24, 01:38:26 PM »
There were four potato leaves in the yellow chariot pot. I just pulled out the others.

Would it be wrong to name a tomato "exserted yellow potato leaf breeding tool"?
« Last Edit: 2021-04-24, 01:40:24 PM by William S. »
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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #11 on: 2021-04-24, 01:53:22 PM »

I planted all the remaining seed from my original accession of Solanum pennellii. Maybe this time around, I have enough experience with it to give it better growing conditions.


What soil are you using for the pure S. pennellii? I found 2 packets of pennellii I got from tgrc that I forgot I requested. I'm thinking cactus potting soil might work well since it is somewhat sandy and drains well.

 It is amazing for my indoor plants like my indoor bananna and raspberry cutting. I will never go back to non cactus soil for indoor plants.

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #12 on: 2021-04-24, 01:57:33 PM »
There were four potato leaves in the yellow chariot pot. I just pulled out the others.

Would it be wrong to name a tomato "exserted yellow potato leaf breeding tool"?

At least in my own records, I often name things based on phenotype.

What if it were called "potato-leaved exserted yellow breeding tool"? Then we could shorten it to Pleybt.

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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #13 on: 2021-04-24, 02:13:59 PM »
What soil are you using for the pure S. pennellii? I found 2 packets of pennellii I got from tgrc that I forgot I requested.

When I did trials to choose a potting mix for pure pennellii, the most successful was a compost with a high silt content. I have stayed with that since, reusing the same compost year after year. I'll probably run out of that mix this year. Intending to substitute a batch of 5 year old compost, and add garden soil to it for silt.

It seems to me like regular misting of the plants is very helpful to their growth.

I've been rooting pure pennellii cuttings this winter, by putting glass jars over them to maintain high humidity. They send out lots of roots from the stem.


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Re: Beautifully Promiscuous and Tasty Tomato Project
« Reply #14 on: 2021-04-24, 02:48:19 PM »
What size is saladette size?