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Old December 8, 2017   #1
Nan_PA_6b
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Default Can Flowers Indicate a Successful Cross?

Hi all,

I crossed a full-sized indeterminate heart with a micro tom. I wanted to use the micro as the female, because all full-sized seedlings would indicate a successful cross. But the micro flowers were so small & delicate no crosses took. I then used the heart as the female and got fruit. I remember the heart's flowers were big, with a honking sturdy pistil that had to be 2 mm thick.

Now I'm looking at the hopefully F1 seedlings, with no way to tell if the cross was successful until fruiting time. But I notice the flowers are small and delicate like the micro's.

Admittedly, the seedlings are young; about 6 1/2 weeks old (the first seedling flowered at 36 days old), and the indeterminate heart was outside for months before my crossing.

So my question is, do these little flowers indicate my cross was successful, or do I still have to wait for the fruit to tell?

Nan
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Old December 10, 2017   #2
Darren Abbey
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The first flowers a tomato plant produces are often smaller than some later ones. You'll probably have to wait a bit longer to be sure. The large-fruit traits are recessive to the small ones, so you'll be pretty certain once you start seeing fruit.
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Old December 10, 2017   #3
Nan_PA_6b
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<sigh>
Well, they've set fruit, so I guess it won't be too long now.
Thanks for the reply, Darren!

Nan
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Old December 10, 2017   #4
KarenO
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Hi Nan
what are the trusses like?
can you post a picture
KarenO
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Old December 10, 2017   #5
Nan_PA_6b
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Here are some flower clusters; my hand is behind the cluster with fruit:
RAE-F1A_resized(1).jpg

RAE-F1B_resized.jpg

My hand is behind a teeny cluster:
RAE-F1C_resized.jpg

Here is a leaf showing both the female's naturally droopy leaf and the male's naturally rolled leaf:
RAE-F1D_resized.jpg
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Old December 10, 2017   #6
KarenO
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if your cross wasn't successful, by that do you mean if the bloom was already self pollinated before you emasculated it? If that was the case, your F1 will just be a normal version of the mother plant, your indeterminate heart. Or did I misunderstand what you are asking?
Are the newly forming fruits hearts? Are both parents reliably stable OPs?
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Old December 10, 2017   #7
Nan_PA_6b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
if your cross wasn't successful, by that do you mean if the bloom was already self pollinated before you emasculated it? If that was the case, your F1 will just be a normal version of the mother plant, your indeterminate heart. Or did I misunderstand what you are asking?
Are the newly forming fruits hearts? Are both parents reliably stable OPs?
KarenO
I want to know if the cross took or if all I have is the female parent's normal fruit. I'm trying to find some difference before fruit color to let me know I've got a cross.

The fruits are not heart-shaped currently. They're small and round as of yet, the biggest is about 1/2". AMH is a pink heart, and HM is a red elongated cherry with a point. But my knowledge of the relative shape dominance in tomatoes is not advanced; the only thing I know I can count on in the F1 is red fruit.

I'm just impatient to see if it is a cross, because it's my first and only successful cross. I'm far too excited about it, & have big plans for it. Also, I'm growing 11 F1 plants on a table in my basement. I'm afraid to throw any out in case some aren't truly F1's. There are these stocky precocious ones with flowers and some pale green thin stemmed ones without.

Both parents are stable OPs.

Nan
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Old December 10, 2017   #8
KarenO
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no such thing as too excited.
A home gardener making her own cross is a labor of love and an exercise in patience as well I would know

I think your little round fruits show your cross took. I know a bit about hearts and they are always "hearty" right from the get-go

I think your F1 will be a small but likely larger than cherry sized round red. time will tell. Enjoy your project , the real fun starts at F2.
KO
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Old December 10, 2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
I think your little round fruits show your cross took.
KO
YES!!!
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Old December 11, 2017   #10
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Nan, I have spent a lot of time looking at flowers and do they tell something about the fruit to come. They are good clues, not every clue is a good clue (first flower petal number was not a good clue for me this year) but there is for sure something in the size of your flowers. If you remember the mother flower was different, then it is a sign that you made the cross alright. And if the fruits are round, I agree with KarenO, baby fruit will show a pointy gene even if the mature fruit hide it.
Good for you, growing your cross in the fall and winter.
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Old December 11, 2017   #11
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Karen and Bower, you made my day! I just looked at the fruits again, and the little round buggers have short sharp points on the blossom end, just like the pollen parent!

Ecstatic,

Nan
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Old December 12, 2017   #12
PhilaGardener
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Congratulations! Remember you don't need many F1s as a lot of the diversity starts with random assortment of chromosomes into the F2 (as @KarenO mentioned). Good luck!
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Old December 12, 2017   #13
KarenO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
Congratulations! Remember you don't need many F1s as a lot of the diversity starts with random assortment of chromosomes into the F2 (as @KarenO mentioned). Good luck!
True. One fruit from one plant grown indoors over winter was the source of the F2 seeds of my all my PL hearts.
It’s hard to grow indoors In winter successfully. Concentrating your efforts on one or two of your healthiest plants may be better than trying to spread your limited light resources among more. All you need from this F1 grow out is at most maybe 50-100 F2 seeds to plant in spring , not a crop of tomatoes.
Happy for you that your cross was successful
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Old December 12, 2017   #14
carolyn137
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Nan, I do hope your cross was a success but I'm one who does not hold that there is a correlation with flower structure.

So if you cross again, please go to this website

http://www.kdcomm.net/~tomato/

And under Culture take a look at how to make crosses.

http://www.kdcomm.net/~tomato/Tomato/xingtom.html

I think it's better to select for leaf form since PL is recessive to RL.

That means using as your female receptor plant one that is PL, and using pollen from an RL to cross with. And bagging any one cluster to pretect it from any X pollinations.

Female is PL, male pollen is RL, so look from saved seeds for those that are RL, which will indicate that the cross took. Plant out those saved seeds again, to be sure and that since not all ovules,seeds to be, in the tomato ovary will always be fertilized.

Others have used this method with great results.

Who is Keith Mueller?

He got his MS degree with Dr. Randy Gardner in NC and Randy has bred many many wonderful varieties,he's a professional. Some of his are the Mountain series, Mountain Magic, Plum Regal, Smarty, etc.

Keith knows more tomato genetics than almost anyone I know.

Look at Keith's site again and please note all the wonderful varieties that he has bred as well.

Just a suggestion to consider if you want to do more crosses.

Carolyn
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Old December 12, 2017   #15
ginger2778
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Go Nan go!
(Suggestion - to check earlier whether a future cross took, you could always grow a plant of the mama next to the hopeful F1to be able to compare.)
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