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HYB: 'A roll of the dice' augmented


From: Mike Lowe <mlowe@worldiris.com>

This may be heresy, but why not?

In studying thousands of tall bearded pedigrees I am struck with the high
degree of randomness implicit in the actual pedigrees versus the focus
suggested in talk and articles about breeding goals.

I am coming to the reluctant belief that this dichotomy is a result of
tetraploidy. We really are rolling dice. When examining diploid pedigrees,
whether animal or plant, a clearly discernible structure can be posited by
pedigree research. This structure is just not there in tetraploids.

In tetraploids, breeding work carried out over an extended period of time
by competent practitioners nearly always depends heavily on line breeding.
(Yes, there are a few notable exceptions! Remember the dice.) A successful
breeder (success measured by awards) will accumulate a stable of seedlings,
each of which can be counted upon to provide a desired trait with a
significantly higher than random frequency. This accumulation of prepotent
breeding stock usually consumes the major part of a working lifetime.

Of special interest are those phenomenal hybridizers that burst upon the
scene and achieve rapid and great success. In nearly all cases, a 'mentor'
has played a significant part. The new stars breeding program will depend
heavily upon the mentor's lifetime experience and will often employ the
mentors stable of seminal seedlings. The combination of exuberance, focus,
energy and drive of the new star, augmented and enhanced by the knowledge
and experience of the mentor, gives results not otherwise obtainable.

My opinion!

Mike

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