hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
New Trillium species discovered

Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

RSS story archive

GENETICS: Propagating "silver bullet" pumpkins

Although I read the Mallorn list, I seldom comment. This genetic discussion lately has caught my interest. Everyone seems to have great points about breeding. What's better...to inbreed or cross? The idea of saving male pollen is excellent...I hope somebody really can do some experimenting this year with it. I think a method can be found if someone spends the time to research it further, do a bit of trial and error, and find a successful method to do it.
The genetic research I have been doing deals with the propagation aspect of pumpkin breeding. This will be the first season I, and perhaps a few others, will grow a pumpkin off a pumpkin plant that was grown from the season before. Yes, a few of us growers across North America still have pumpkin plants growing that grew and produced pumpkins during the past year. These plants were rooted outside {or grown from tip cuttings} and are being kept alive under grow lights indoors as you read this. This is a method I believe just may be the best way to do some of the best breeding for years to come. The reason: Keeping a "clone" of a great producing plant or a plant with desirable breeding characteristics will help eliminate some of the problems we all experience, as with "clones" one can breed a male and female KNOWING EXACTLY how both plants grow, and how the pumpkins will end up by seasons end. We sometime cross two plants, then find out a male or female we used had bad traits which might make for a bad cross. Splitting stems, dill rings, blowouts, holes, or splits all happen long after we have made our crosses. We cannot go back in time and pollinate our best pumpkin with pollen from a different, more desirable, plant. We never know what a seed will do once we set fruit. We make our crosses based upon what would seem as a good match on paper. Even using a "proven seed" is not a guarantee, as each seed has a different genetic code...some carry the traits we like, some have the bad traits we do not, and until grown, we never know! Having 2 pumpkins which every characteristic is already known eliminates the guess work, and better crosses will be created since all traits are already known.
This method of "cloning" off previous plants and breeding the "clones" the following year is not yet a proven method...and to do this requires sacrificing winter "down time" to keep them growing. The grower need space inside to do this, and must know this requires fans, timers, shop lights, and a higher electrical bill to accomplish this. Another down side to this method, is the grower using just a cloning method of breeding, has to let others grow the seeds produced, before knowing how good the cross was, and if those plants are worthy of making cuttings from for the following season.
Sounds confusing or weird? Well...it still seems like a strange method, but this is my second season into this ongoing experiment, and this season should help answer all the questions about how viable or effective it is helping create the best genetics possible.
Thanks to everyone who is sharing with me their information and results so far...keep me posted, as I will do the same. Others interested may e mail me in private for more info. I may not respond right away, but I will always send an e mail back ASAP.

 © 1995-2017 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement
Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index