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bower April 16, 2017 03:53 PM

Early and "double determinate" tomatoes from CRISPR
I missed this news completely - december 2016.
What do you think?

Hatgirl April 17, 2017 04:48 AM

:shock: Wow, very cool! 8-) The work being done with CRISPR in all fields is fascinating

kurt April 17, 2017 05:43 AM

As much as I would love to...but still trying to get thru the 25,000 plus variety's out there,the million of saved seeds,don't know what to do.But great info in case I want to throw in the towel,quit growing 5 dallor plus tomatoes,and come to my senses!

bower April 17, 2017 08:29 AM

I thought this was an interesting and very worthwhile experiment with the CRISPR.
Also wondered whether the "double determinate" effect is the same as found naturally in the micro tomatoes.:?!?:

I did a google afterwards for tomato CRISPR, and there are quite a few experiments out there involving tomato. Another interesting one was for disease resistance. Less impressed with the production of "seedless tomatoes" and the crazy notion that this improves food security, when the plants would have to be cloned for farm scale production. :? And rationalizing that they don't need bees. :evil: Tomatoes of course, don't need bees in the first place. :surprised: Heck I want a world with seeds and bees for my food security. :shock:

"Food security" is such a key buzzword, you'll find it tossed around in every project because it's the key criterion now for funding no doubt. So people will rationalize their project in that light whether it fits or not.

heirloomtomaguy April 17, 2017 08:30 AM

I think i will be patient for 2 weeks to not have my tomatoes genes edited. For me i like my food the way God intended it but respect other peoples opinions to like these foods. I just wish we had the option to know which foods were gene edited or genetically modified.

bower April 17, 2017 10:22 AM

Precocious flowering and early fruit set and growth are traits already available in conventional breeding. I used Kimberley in my crosses to get larger fruited and different colored varieties that flower about 42 days from seed instead of the 50 days or so for most 'early' varieties. The Beaverlodge varieties are another line with precocious flowering trait.
The early flowering alone doesn't really help with the short cool season - it only means you may need to start them later and have them indoors for a little less time. I doubt there would be an advantage to flowering even earlier than that, as the plants wouldn't be large enough to carry fruit.
Among the larger and later fruit I've grown, some don't flower until 72 days, and these are ones I chose because they are 'midseason' not 'late'. The solution which KarenO used in Alberta is to start them even earlier indoors and pot them up into larger digs before transplant so they get the head start they needed. This is fine for home garden, but wouldn't be practical for a farm scale operation unless you had heated greenhouse space for starts.
My approach has been to make crosses between those larger later tastier fruit and the early ones, and selecting for better traits and diverse shapes and colors with earliness and cool climate tolerance. I'm happy with the results I'm getting for a lot of effort. Of course it is not the same as simply tweaking a great OP to be early with no change to the fruit traits at all.
So I do think there might be some interest in the CRISPR approach, if they offered early flowering and setting variants of famous late heirlooms that we otherwise couldn't grow here. It would be interesting to see how a single modification affected the performance of the plant/variety in the real challenge of field conditions in the north or high altitude areas.
Whether they would be approved for organic farming is another question. Gene editing within the plant for a stable, heritable 'mutation' is not the same as GMO gene introductions which have or may have a number of potentially harmful effects on the environment. Maybe it would be considered acceptable after testing and review... time will tell.

There is one variety I grew and used for breeding projects because of its cold tolerance, numbered PI 120256 originally from Turkey, that maybe had the 'day length' issues described in the article for wild types. We were pleased to see the early vigor, cold tolerance and reasonably early flowering of these plants, then dismayed that they failed to set any fruit until quite late in the season, with low yield for us as a consequence both at home and at the farm. Those crosses got low priority in growouts, but I am growing a side cross this year, between my Kitten Paws F2 (early set, cool tolerance, and mtDNA from Stupice) and the F1 of Eva Purple Ball X PI 120256. Will see if the earliness from the maternal line is enough to select away from any 'day length' effects at the F1 stage... otherwise will abandon to future attentions of folks who have the CRISPR. :roll:

KarenO April 17, 2017 11:42 AM

I sow my seeds march 21 expecting ripe fruit mid July for both my PL cherries and my large PL hearts. I pot up to litre pots, fertilize, try to maximize vigourous growth and plant my seedlings out hardened off properly, already blooming and two feet tall the end of may. Looking for ripe fruit around 110-120 days from sowing seed. (Mid July) which is quite early in a northern garden. I find counting days from seed to first ripe fruit is different and more accurate for my purposes than dtm from set-out because of such variable outdoor conditions. Interestingly, Marsha is getting about exactly the same timing in Florida. Diverging from standard practices has been my "thing" and is how i have been successful. Folk tend to blame the variety when things do t go well. Genetics are important but growing conditions and cultural practices count too.
I think it's interesting to see your projects Bower and have learned a lot from your study of genetics. I look forward to seeing your projects continue to develop and I wish you great success in perfecting your beautiful early tomatoes.

bower April 17, 2017 02:18 PM

Thanks for encouragement, KarenO ! 8-)
I've learned a lot from you too, and very cool the methods you developed. :yes: As you said, genetics isn't everything by a long shot.

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