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Old April 30, 2019   #1
Labradors2
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Default Recovering the taste

So as not to derail somebody else's thread, I'm starting a new one.

If you have a tomato that tastes great at F1, F2 and F3, what do you do when F4 just doesn't cut the mustard. Do you save the seeds anyway and keep going, or do you go back to F3 and sow a million of those?

Linda
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Old April 30, 2019   #2
Lee
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Good question.
Could be the environmental conditions effected the F4's flavor.


So, I would grow some F4 again along with the F5 to see if that is the case.




Good luck!


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Old April 30, 2019   #3
KarenO
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Agree could be environment but if you have room grow the F 3 too. Select the best and carry on.

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Old April 30, 2019   #4
Tormato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labradors2 View Post
So as not to derail somebody else's thread, I'm starting a new one.

If you have a tomato that tastes great at F1, F2 and F3, what do you do when F4 just doesn't cut the mustard. Do you save the seeds anyway and keep going, or do you go back to F3 and sow a million of those?

Linda


To me, it would depend on how great that tomato tastes. I'd first start with making sure I have plenty of extra seed (to share), which possibly means going back to the F1, to save more F2s.



And it also means, if one has the room and/or the gardening friends, to plant many F2s, more F3s, and try many of the F4s, again.
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Old May 1, 2019   #5
bower
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I had something similar happen last year - F4 where the taste which had been consistent suddenly is not. There was a distinct environmental effect - none of the plants in my big containers (the earliest looking seedlings) were the tastiest - all of the fruit in smaller pots were the taste winners, including 'extras' that I crowded together in one pot. But I cannot trust that it is entirely environmental, so I saved the tastiest to carry forward - but I also saved seed from the 'earliest' as a backup in case that trait was really lost.
The same thing happened with F3 of my Whiskeyjack, nothing really close to the delicious F2, and I had another F2 where the parents tasted very different, and they were all over the place for taste. I had another fantastic F2 another year, which I really didn't recover the taste in half dozen F3s. There were too many variables in play - a gf allele for one, some linked traits etc.



So my thought is that, setting aside environment, there may be a generation where taste traits that depended on heterozygous contributions are easily lost, and you have to grow more of that generation to recover or keep it. A half dozen plants might be enough for most, but in some cases you may need more. Maybe as many as 16 +.


Still it doesn't make sense to me, if the half dozen F3 were all tasty, that you don't find any good ones in F4. So that weighs on the environmental causes side.
If I were you I'd grow both F4 and F3 this year, so you can compare the two in the same conditions. If the F3 are all tasty again and the F4 are not, you know you have to save seeds from several of your best F3's and try those instead, I think.
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Old May 1, 2019   #6
Labradors2
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Thanks everyone and especially Bower. I thought that your Whiskeyjack had amazing flavor BTW .

This year I am growing some F2's, just so that I can experience that fabulous taste again. I will save a lot of seeds from these plants and keep going with the project.

Last year, I was SO despondent when the F4's didn't have that fabulous taste, that I was going to give up. I never thought that environment could be a factor. I did save seeds from five of the six plants which weren't bad tasting, just "nothing special" . *Newsflash* Spurred on by your comments, I've just started two of the F4's. I can grow them in small pots and find out if there is any flavor improvement in the F5.

Now I know not to be put off, and I will have to dedicate more/most of my garden to growing my experimental plants .

Thanks again,

Linda

Last edited by Labradors2; May 1, 2019 at 09:41 AM. Reason: brain fog
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Old May 1, 2019   #7
AlittleSalt
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Linda, I ran into the same problem at the F4 stage. The taste wasn't there and the fruit was 50% smaller. I tried this with Sungold. It wasn't a surprise to me that it didn't work, but it was fun trying. (This is not me suggesting to give up trying.) If you have the room to grow them - try the F2 or F3s again.
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Old May 1, 2019   #8
Labradors2
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Thanks Salt. I guess if it was that easy, more people would become plant breeders!

Linda
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Old May 3, 2019   #9
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Different answer, if you are having problems stabilizing traits, try making a back cross. For example, if F2 and F3 are good to very good, cross an F2 X F3 and see what the offspring do. The reason for doing this is because linkage often interferes with tomato flavor. For example, fruit density is linked with less juice and reduced aromatic compounds. This comes from linkage on chromosome 5. Crossing F2 X F3 has a fairly good chance of changing the linkage so the flavor can develop in future generations.


One particularly hard trait to stabilize is fruit sweetness. This usually is associated with introgression of a gene from a wild species to increase sugar. It is difficult to combine the high sugar gene with genes for high flavor. This is one reason I am using Hibor in several planned crosses this year. Hibor is stable for very high sugar.
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Old May 4, 2019   #10
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Thank you so much Fusion for your great advice. My F2's and F3's tasted amazing so back-crossing might just do the trick!


Linda
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