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Old September 14, 2006   #1
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Default Any experience with growing out the seeds from a seed ball?

I've read somewhere (I think the Robert Lobitz story in the SSE first 10 years book) that there is lots of variability and genetic richness in the seeds that form occasionally from potato flowers. Tom or anyone, have you played around with such seeds, and what is the diversity/possibilities like from that? I suspect that the yield the first year would not be very good, but any potatoes that result are saved and increased the following year. Related, what is the diversity in a CV such as Yukon Gold? Or modern Russets???
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Old September 15, 2006   #2
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I know I am not the tom you are addressing but if you remember I asked about the fruits (small green balls) that my all blue potatoes grew. You told me they were 'seeds'. I said at the time you were the researcher/scientist not me thinking that you'd want some. Iirc you did not even reply (this is where the written word can cause problems. NONE of this is critical just a statement of facts so please do not take offense!) so I figured you had no interest. I tried to toss all that fell to the ground as I dug the all blue cuz the last thing I wanted was potato plants by the thousands growing there next year. Miss a tiny pea sized potato and a volunteer plant will grow next summer. I have a mystery potato this year I allowed to grow. I'll dig it when it dies back probably in another 2 or 3 weeks. I hope I get more than 1 pound from that plant! I also hope it is a red as 2 red varieties were grown last summer but no reds this year.

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Old September 15, 2006   #3
Tom Wagner
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I have been a potato seed saver all my life, and am still picking potato berries by the hundreds of pounds every year! Why is another story.


Thanks for bringing up the question of True Potato Seed (TPS) diversity. I will address the diversity of Yukon Gold more fully in a new post. Since I am the Tom you have referred to, it might be best to address me as Tom Wagner in the future since Tom is such a common name.

Craig, you suspect that the yield the first year from true seed would not be very good. Normally, that is true, but my years of experience have trained me how to grow seedling potatoes to obtain near comparable results as growing from tubers. I will address those procedures in a later post as well.


Potatoes are truly the consummate heterozygotes. It is difficult to obtain anything close to homozygous clones from saving TPS. Potato species history is tied more to out-crossing than to selfing, although selfing is indeed, an option.

Keith, you stated “a selfed Yukon Gold would likely segregate out long tubers and also white flesh (characteristics of one of its parents)” My experience with OP Yukons give me mostly round progeny with very few oval/longs. I do see flesh colors of white, light yellow, and even a few darker yellow than Yukon Gold. A good part of the seedlings will have pink eyes like YG and one quarter will have white eyes. Take a look at the parental descriptions;

Female parent -Norgleam –
Primary tuber flesh color White
Tuber eye depth Shallow
Tuber shape Oval to round

Male parent-USW 5279-4

Yellow flesh
Oval to round

Keith, Early Rose is, indeed, a founding parent of many varieties. However I would offer that its seed parent Garnet Chili and its grandparent Rough Purple Chili even more historical significance. I use Garnet Chili in my breeding work and wanted to use the Rough Purple Chili I obtained from Fred Ashworth but lost it due to virus years ago.

I hope to generate some interest in the history of potatoes by putting up the pedigree of Yukon Gold on a separate post. I am a pedigree nut.

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