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Old February 3, 2013   #16
carolyn137
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Mark, I was typing my response while you were posting yours and I see we agree on who is "serious" and gives all the info for a cross as opposed to those who may not.

I can't really spaek to Tom's potato ones except I can note that for the new tomato ones when he first put up his tomato ones there was outrage on the part of many since he never said those tomato named ones were not stable. and the prices being asked were high as several noted.

But he then went back and did note that the new tomato ones were not stable, and he did answer questions here about what to expect and select for and what to discard.

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Old February 3, 2013   #17
bower
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Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
Bower, you linked to Bill Jeffers crosses and I've know Bill for many many years. He's a talented not so amateur breeder and does it as a sideline and has an excellent full time job elsewhere.

Bill explains what do with his offerings, as in making selections, etc., as I recall, I didn't read the whole page b'c I've got to pack more tomato seeds and ge tthem out for my seed offer, and Bill also gives the full parentage so that if folks want to look those up and see what they are they can do so. Agreed that most probably won't have enough grasp of tomato genetics to predict what might ensue, but for those interested and have enough room to do the growouts, I think it's great.

I have three crosses in the Experimental Section of my seed offer and warn about having enough room to do growouts,etc. , but I know from past experiences that many do and some only put out one plant.

Bill was the one who did the NAR X Brandywine which ultimately becameDixiewine which I haven't grown yet but have the seeds and may do so this summer. Since I introduced NAR and at one time liked Brandywine I asked Bill for some F2 seeds and he sent them ASAP but I only did one growout and didn't pursue it since I was at my new place and didn't have the acreage that I used to have.

I admire what Bill has done, and what varieties he's working on now, and feel that he's being honest and straightout, no misrepresentation, with his offerings, as some aren't, as to parentage and unstable lines being offered.

Just my opinion having known Bill, for what, maybe 15 years at least.

Carolyn, who never has made a deliberate cross, but has dehybridized a few varieties to stability, and has had some amusing results appear, viz., three plants of Cherokee Green put out for seed stock and two had pure white lousy tasting fruits, and then the two somatic mutations that appeared,now those were fun.
Yes, I had a look at the offerings on that page, and they look like good parentage to work with in a cross. I haven't had my experience of growout yet, the pleasure awaits me.
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Old February 3, 2013   #18
frogsleap farm
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Many years ago Bill sent me F1 seed of his cross Indian Stripe x Sungold. It got me started on making my own crosses, and tomato breeding in general. I have no doubts his (and Tom's) current offerings will get others similarly excited and engaged.
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Old February 3, 2013   #19
travis
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Slight correction: I have not given out full pedigrees in each and every case, but I am willing to do that in every case where I know both parents for sure. In other words, a couple of the crosses were done by bees; but in cases where I personally made the cross by hand, I will either give out the pedigree with the public description, or privately to a recipient of the seeds.

Yes, I have made mistakes in my tomato life, just like in the other aspects of my 65 years of life. Water under the bridge, and no use looking back. Yes, I have named lines stuff like Brannar Line, Cherokee Tiger Line, etc. But I will not make the same mistake of prematurely assigning a name to an unstable tomato line ever again from this day forward. Apparently, some folks just don't get it. So, from now on the all my unstable lines will all carry letters and numbers instead. And I will strongly encourage others to do the same whether to good avail or not. Time will tell.

I could say a whole lot more about the issues discussed in this thread, in other related threads, and at other Web sites, but I think I'll bite my tongue and bind my fingers at this time and in this place.

May each and every tomato gardener have a most excellent 2013 season, and may the forces of Nature be kind to our gardens.

Bill Jeffers

Last edited by travis; February 3, 2013 at 04:11 PM.
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Old February 3, 2013   #20
Fred Hempel
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BS1, CRAP4....
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Old February 3, 2013   #21
doublehelix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
... Every once in a while one will turn out to be a plant that produces markedly smaller fruit but that has been the rare exception. I have been quite surprised by these results. I am no scientist and don't understand the genetics behind hybridization but it would seem to me that the parents must be very similar to the resulting hybrid for this to be the case.
This is quite common because of the size of the population. If you planted a dozen or so seeds every season you might not see any difference. If you planted a few thousand you would see many that were different. Growing small populations over a long period of time you would be able to track many differences just as if you did them all in one season.

This is an important part to this discussion. When 2 or 3 seeds are planted in a segregating population you might think something is stable as early as the F3 as some of the people selling these tomatoes seem to think. When the grow out jumps from 10 or 20 seeds to 2000 seeds they are going to get a hard lesson in statistical analysis of segregating populations.

…And some angry customers.
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Old February 3, 2013   #22
Fusion_power
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I too am not convinced this is entirely bad. There are lots of folks who love to tinker with genetics. With that said, what I foresee is a huge number of mediocre "varieties" being dumped onto the market over the next 5 years. The result will be cream rising to the top but this will take a number of years to sort out.

On a different note, using dna testing to stabilize desirable traits is close to being available to the average grower. This would enable anyone to stabilize a variety in short order while retaining desirable traits. In other words, super tomatoes are more and more feasible.

DarJones
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Old February 3, 2013   #23
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I don't think this is any different than any other industry when it comes to the mix of the "type" of companies that are in it. There are a number that try to do they very best they can. There are others that do a much poorer job because they just down know any better or their standards are pretty low. Still others are there to make a quick buck and will go onto other things when the quick bucks disappear.

Fortunately the bar that most people start with when it comes to eating tomatoes is low. If you start with a store bought tomato as a standard then I don't think a mouse could crawl under that bar. They decide to grow their own tomato because it looks like fun, to save money or because their Grand Parents did and buy some plants from where the shop otherwise.

As they become more interested in tomato they will go looking for other sources. Some will buy seed from places that are selling unstablized seed and will either learn or be happy with what they get. If they become more sophisticated growers they will find the better small seed sellers.

A good parallel is micro breweries. Their product isn't aimed at the person that just wants to know how cheap they can get drunk this weekend. There are also small breweries that turn out a very poor product but give it a fancy name and get fancy prices for it.

I think it all helps to drive the niche seed business.

Last edited by Doug9345; February 3, 2013 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Add some more
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Old February 4, 2013   #24
Mischka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
Sorry to play devil's advocate, but I'm not convinced that this is a bad thing (in itself) but, like most things, it can certainly be negative if there is misrepresentation involved.
I don't think anyone here could find fault with a seed vendor selling seeds clearly described as an unstable hybrid. You know what you're purchasing upfront. If you grow something that looks and/or tastes terrible, you haven't wasted your money and, more importantly, your entire growing season. You wanted to spin the roulette wheel and experiment from the get-go, right?

No harm, no foul. Experiments can be fun. We all took chemistry class in high school.

What isn't fun is when someone else is "experimenting" with your money and your time, without your knowledge. Or worse, intentionally deceiving you into making a purchase, based on their false advertising and lies.

Case in point. Below are two screenshots. One is from a forum, announcing the discovery of the tomato variety "Jim Dandy". The other is from a website now selling the seeds for "Jim Dandy".

Notice the date in the forum post: April 5th 2012. Based solely on what's written in the post, an unknown tomato variety cross-pollinated with a known orange variety and the resulting F1 hybrid seedling showed up in 2011. Seeds were saved from the one plant of this hybrid and were grown out in 2012.

The seeds saved from 2012 would produce the next generation hybrid, F2. F2 is an unstable generation, with different genetic traits of the parents expressing themselves in an unpredictable fashion.

In simple terms. It would be very unreasonable to expect any conformity from one plant to the next and to harvest fruits that look or taste like those from the previous F1 plant. This is why most folks don't bother saving seeds from F1 hybrid varieties. (and why you don't look identical to your siblings )
Reading the seed ad in the second screenshot, you'll notice the date of the F1 plants' appearance has been pushed back two full years.

Why?

Because if the truth were widely known about the date of the F1 origin for "Jim Dandy", most of us here wouldn't waste our money buying unstable F2 seed. Even with pushing the date back two years, the math still doesn't add up.

The saddest part of this story is that some folks are still going to purchase these seeds and waste their entire growing season before they discover they've been duped into buying something entirely different than advertised. The innocuous-sounding "appears to be stable" statement doesn't exculpate this vendor, either.

This is not an isolated incident with Marianna's Heirloom Seeds this season. Many of their 2013 "heirloom" offerings are a hodge-podge of genetically unstable crap.

Caveat Emptor
...
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg JimDandy_depot.jpeg (213.8 KB, 349 views)
File Type: jpeg JimDandy_Mariannas.jpeg (234.3 KB, 360 views)
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Old February 4, 2013   #25
bower
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Wow, Mischka, thank you for the clarification. I visited Mariseed for the first time after seeing your original post, and followed the link to Bill's Created Heirlooms page which seemed like the right place but I couldn't find anything wrong with it. It's no wonder I didn't see the offending tomatoes, as I now see "Jim Dandy" is hidden among the regular offerings.
It's even more confusing to see this done 'right' and 'wrong' on the same site.

My apologies to Bill Jeffers BTW if my original post sounded like a criticism of the quality of his work - I was only reasoning about the general case and did not mean any specific criticism by posting the link. I just couldn't find anything wrong with it, and judging from the other responses here, we agree on that.
The 'Jim Dandy' is something else altogether. You are right to post a warning for people who may be taken in.
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Old February 4, 2013   #26
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublehelix View Post
This is quite common because of the size of the population. If you planted a dozen or so seeds every season you might not see any difference. If you planted a few thousand you would see many that were different. Growing small populations over a long period of time you would be able to track many differences just as if you did them all in one season.

This is an important part to this discussion. When 2 or 3 seeds are planted in a segregating population you might think something is stable as early as the F3 as some of the people selling these tomatoes seem to think. When the grow out jumps from 10 or 20 seeds to 2000 seeds they are going to get a hard lesson in statistical analysis of segregating populations.

…And some angry customers.
I never claimed the pepper grow outs from hybrids to be totally stable; but compared to the grow outs from hybrid tomatoes they do seem to be much more stable even after several years. My conclusion is that they must be using parents that are not as far from the hybrid in characteristics as is seemingly the case with tomatoes. If you can't discern the difference without genetic testing then what difference does it make. I continue to plant the bulk of my peppers by purchasing hybrid seed of one or two red bell peppers that I really like. For my yellow bells and one other I will keep planting out the seed that have produced well for me from the hybrid grow out. I am not as big a fan of yellow bells or marconi types to worry if my experiment fails. One of the yellow bells has actually produced a few plants that were better tasting than the original hybrid with thicker walls so that was a plus.

I no longer try any grow outs of hybrid tomatoes because I have rarely gotten a tomato plant from them that was as good as the original hybrid. I now keep my tomato experimenting to growing out flukes from known OP varieties. One result was Indian Stripe Potato Leaf which I sent to Carolyn. It has been a very stable and unique tomato as far as I can tell and from all the gardeners I have sent the seed to. I am working on growing out another fluke from Indian Stripe that has a different color and size. I don't know if it is at all stable yet but it has shown remarkable fusarium resistance for two years now. I am going to really put it to the test this year by using it as the rootstock for several dozen different varieties. I have hopes that it will be successful but will in no way be surprised if it isn't. I have only found a few heirlooms that have consistently shown fusarium resistance but I am constantly looking for more.
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Old February 4, 2013   #27
Darren Abbey
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Regarding 'Jim Dandy': If it is a potato-leaf variety, even if unstable for many other traits, it shouldn't be able to throw regular-leaved progeny without them being the result of a new cross... (ignoring the lower incidence of reversion mutations) since the potato-leaf trait is the recessive form.

So, a site claiming that their potato leaf variety may occasionally throw regular leaf offspring not only suggests instability, it also suggests they don't have good controls to prevent hybridization in their seed source.
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Old February 4, 2013   #28
carolyn137
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Yes, your Indian Stripe PL has remained stable for me and the folks who got it from my seed offer as noted in the Fall performance thread I put up as well as well as for you. But I called it Indian Stripe PL and did not change the name, which I don't approve of since when an original RL goes to PL, there's more than one way that that can happen.

If it's a single spontaneous mutation then yes, RL to PL is usually stable, but the mutation of the DNA can also involve repeats, inversions, and looping out in which case MORE than one gene can be involved, and when that happens other traits of the PL can also change.

I think a good example of that is with at least two of the three Cherokee Purple PL's, the original being RL. I was up late, got up late andI think there's a third one I'm forgetting right now.

There's Cherokee Purple Potato Leaf, found by Jere Gettle and Spudakee, found by Bill Malin.

When folks grow out those two and the RL version in the same season, some will say they're identical and some will say that they detect differences.

IMO one should not change the name of an original RL version that turns out to be PL until and unless time shows that the two are identical and probably due to a single spontaneous mutation.

Martha, gardenmama here at Tville, found the PL version of Kellogs Breakfast many years ago now, 2002, see the link below and she called it KBX and from the link below it says aka Kellogg's Breakfast Potato Leaf but speaking just for myself I don't think I've seen anyone who uses anything other than KBX.

http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/KBX

I suppose others of you can give other examples of some RL varieties that went to PL but I still feel that one should not assume that a PL version of a variety is the same as the original RL version b/c of the ways that the RL to PL can occur.

Bill, your description of your new IS sounds interesting and sounds like a cross if it's THAT different from IS, and do share what it looks like to you now, but heaven's not in this thread please.

Carolyn
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Old February 4, 2013   #29
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Abbey View Post
Regarding 'Jim Dandy': If it is a potato-leaf variety, even if unstable for many other traits, it shouldn't be able to throw regular-leaved progeny without them being the result of a new cross... (ignoring the lower incidence of reversion mutations) since the potato-leaf trait is the recessive form.

So, a site claiming that their potato leaf variety may occasionally throw regular leaf offspring not only suggests instability, it also suggests they don't have good controls to prevent hybridization in their seed source.
I was typing my answer when you posted the above.

There could be a reversion of the original mutation from RL to PL, but only if the original mutation was a single spontaneous one, and I agree that reverse mutations of that kind are rare indeed b'c of the statistics involved in getting just ONE gene in the genome to revert.

Carolyn, who worked with mutational events with both bacteria and viruses and knew of the various DNA mutations with them, as to subsequent changes, but for some stupid reason never thought of it with tomatoes until Keith M shared that with her, so thanks to Keith for that.
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Old February 4, 2013   #30
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As long as things are sold as unstable varieties, I don't see a terrible problem - unless you consider a crazy glut of names and crosses for the sake of crosses an issue. I buy from Tom Wagner - I like his crosses and will continue to do so - but I don't share that seed because it is unstable.

My problem with growers who cross is what I perceive as outright lying.

For example, I was given seeds by a certain someone for Sweet Beverly in winter of 2011, I planted out 30-40 plants of that and lo and behold got 4 different segregates.

I posted this on the tomato dep0t with pics in fall of 2011 as requested because no one there believed me. I have since grown it out and gotten the same segregates.

Which means to me, it's unstable.

Not only was I basically called a liar, and the whole thing forgotten, but then this certain someone came out with a "mutation" of Sweet Beverly a mere 3-4 months after I called this unstable variety to their attention, now called Sweet Sharon. Kinda funny how that happened.

Why does this matter? It matters because for those of us that really care about the craft, also care about the ethics and integrity and basically the truth about the history about what we're doing.

It's easy to re-name tomatoes, it's easy to have crosses - it happens all by itself if you grow enough. I am really, really disappointed in a few folks. It was heartbreaking to leave that community, but I did so out my conscience. I vote with my wallet now. The varieties I find to be interesting by ethical breeders, I'll buy and pay a premium for. Not so with others.

I will be posting a photo that I posted at the depot in fall of 2011 to show the segregation that included what is now known as Sweet Sharon, if necessary.

No one's perfect and everyone makes mistakes; I used to think tomato folks were kind and decent - until I found out a few weren't and then I got smart. People are people.

Don't drink anyone's Kool-Aid kids.
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