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Re: Seedling Numbering Systems Suggestions, Please...

  • To: iris-l@rt66.com
  • Subject: Re: Seedling Numbering Systems Suggestions, Please...
  • From: tlittle@Lanl.GOV (Tom Tadfor Little)
  • Date: Thu, 25 Jul 1996 09:09:05 -0600

Jim Schroetter asks

:        My main request is that some of the seasoned hybridizers on the list
:share their ideas for proper, useful numbering/naming systems for seedlings.
:If your system is, shall we say, "PROPRIETARY", don't divulge all of it; just
:give up some ideas on some components of a useful format. Although I have
:some ideas, why not ask the pros and avoid the pitfalls? ;-)

Many hybridizers incorporate the year the cross was made into the number.
I don't. Here's my system (and I can't imagine any benefit to keeping it

I have several "lines" of breeding, each with a letter. The letter
really indicates the chromosome makeup. Thus "T" stands for tall bearded,
but also BBs, tetraploid MTBs, and anything else with four sets of 12
chromosomes. "S" is for SDBs (or anything with 8+8+12+12), and so on.

I number crosses sequentially in each line. Thus my first TB cross
using this system was 1T. I've been using this system for three years
now, so most cross IDs are two digits plus the letter, e.g., 23T.

Individual seedlings (of which I have precious few!) are then identified
by a number following the cross ID: 23T12 would be the twelfth numbered
seedling from cross 23T.

If I repeat a cross (even in a subsequent year), I keep the same cross
ID. So the cross ID is really a shorthand for the parentage.

This is handy for me because I make wide crosses. The letter tells me
immediately what will cross with what, and it also helps separate
the numeric parts of the seedling number and make the whole thing
easier to remember and keep straight.

And even if I get a bigger garden and have the chance to make a lot
more crosses than I do now, I expect I won't ever see a seedling number
more than 7 characters long.

I doubt that it will be much use to anyone, but here is the system
I use for the letters:

T       TB, BB, etc.       (12+12+12+12)
t       diploid MTB, etc.  (12+12)
A       tetraploid aril    (10+10+10+10)
a       diploid aril       (10+10)
P       I. pumila          (8+8+8+8)
p       I. attica, etc.    (8+8)
S       SDBs, etc.         (8+8+12+12)
C       CGW-type arilbreds (10+10+12+12)
B       arilpums           (8+8+10+10)

X       beardless

These (except X) are the fertile families of bearded and aril
irises. If I just can't contain myself and end up making a
cross that doesn't land in one of these pigeonholes, I'll use
two letters for the parents. Thus a TBxSDB seedling might be
2TS5 or some such.

Happy irising, Tom.


Tom Tadfor Little         tlittle@lanl.gov  -or-  telp@Rt66.com
technical writer/editor   Los Alamos National Laboratory
Telperion Productions     http://www.rt66.com/~telp/

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