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Any fruit tree hybridizers?
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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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April 29, 2020 - 7:29 pm

Out of curiosity, do any of you Forum members engage in controlled hybridization of fruit trees?  Over the last few days I've been emasculating a few selected flowers on specific (mostly apple-) trees and also collecting the anthers (pollen) from a few select others.  I've only made five cross-pollinations so far (--two of them were pears:  Ubileen x Rescue, and the reciprocal cross, Rescue x Ubileen), but will be making various controlled crosses over the next month....  I'm always amazed at how slowly some apple varieties come into flower, especially many of the French and English cider apples.  (I'm particularly interested in breeding some new cider apples.)

I have a very few young seedlings from open-pollinated apples as well as three from an open pollinated pear coming along, but to me there's only real satisfaction in controlling the crosses in terms of which will be the pollen parent and which will be the seed parent.  Only then does one learn about the heritability of specific traits.  

It has largely only been in the last century-and-a-half that controlled hybridization has been applied in plants, yet so many of my favorite apples were the result of random cross-pollination over many years in a broad diversity of places over the temperate globe.  That's certainly not to suggest in the least that a controlled cross will result in anything worthwhile.  I'm of the impression that -- perhaps -- one in 1000 seedlings may be truly worthy.  Nevertheless, odds are improved by crossing one's favorite with another favorite, if thoughtfully done.

Anyway, I guess I'm just curious about whether any of you Forum contributors have tried your hand at fruit tree hybridization, regardless of whichever fruit variety it was.  If so, I'd be interested in hearing about your efforts and results.  Aside from minor mutations of fruit tree varieties which are found and named (--and nowadays patented), a truly new genetic combination between two varieties offers so much more potential.  In the midst of the resulting "tossers", as the Brits might say, there may be a particular plant worth maintaining, and potentially working with further....

Is it just me, or....?....   Wink  (It's OK.  I've been called worse.)

Reinettes

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Dubyadee
Puyallup, Washington, USA
80 Posts
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April 29, 2020 - 7:47 pm

In 2018 I used male fuzzy kiwi blossoms to pollinate female hardy kiwi.  I collected seed from the fruits in the fall but failed to get any of these seeds to grow, they germinated but I couldn't keep them going.  I wanted to see if I could hybridize a larger, smooth-skin kiwi.  My male kiwi didn't bloom last year so I didn't get to retry.  Maybe this year I will get a second chance.

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Rooney
466 Posts
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April 29, 2020 - 11:42 pm

Sometimes like with genetic dwarf peaches the art of controlling the cross is important because of recessive inheritance. You always want to keep all regular peaches out of the farm and let bees keep close quarters between two dwarfs in order to get more. It's kind of like chinchillas I used to breed. The male with the most handsome fur was allowed to access the most females.

Even though I never bred or crossed peaches before I have plenty experience making hand crosses bringing other species of differing character of cherry together. I could very much qualify to answer any questions.

It's been my experience that controlled crosses or chance mutations are not the only way of fruit improvement. The one more way is gathering together tissue cultured hybrids of prunus. Books state tissue culture is cloning like identical twins, but that's kind of false. Hybrid prunus is very unsteady material and when worked through the lab culturing process they wind out in the end all different.

One example is my tc maxima-14 cherry rootstock. Books say these hybrids come out infertile. Mine came out mostly by the book but a few flowered and produce fruit. I discarded the infertile ones and kept two fertile ones of the bunch.

You claim to have fruits on your marianna 2624 plum rootstock. I have the sane two clones for about 12 years. No matter what I do or pollinate them with they never fruit..

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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May 1, 2020 - 6:31 pm

Rooney said
Sometimes like with genetic dwarf peaches the art of controlling the cross is important because of recessive inheritance. You always want to keep all regular peaches out of the farm and let bees keep close quarters between two dwarfs in order to get more. .....

It's been my experience that controlled crosses or chance mutations are not the only way of fruit improvement. The one more way is gathering together tissue cultured hybrids of prunus. Books state tissue culture is cloning like identical twins, but that's kind of false....

...You claim to have fruits on your marianna 2624 plum rootstock. I have the sane two clones for about 12 years. No matter what I do or pollinate them with they never fruit..  

Hi Rooney,

With more hybridizing and careful record-keeping of results, one gets the opportunity to learn which characteristics are dominant and which are recessive in a cross.  Once you know that a characteristic is recessive, you'd definitely want to cross recessive to recessive if that's the character that you desire.

...Yes, the tissue-culturing of a clone for its mass-production should all result in countless identical plants.  However, there are plenty of examples of anomalous mutations that arose in the process.  Mutations often play an important role in speciation events.  As I understand it, most of the hybrid sweet corn in commerce today (supersweets etc.) originated with experimental mutation by use of irradiation of corn seeds.  ...Makes one want to go back to a traditional  "natural" sweet corn like 'Bantam Sweet'.

...As for the few delicious plums that I get each year from my 'Marianna 2624', I only wish that I knew what pollen the insects were getting on those few flowers that precipitated fruit formation.  The pits themselves are sterile as a mule, so I can get no seedlings.  Sometimes foreign pollen from a closely related plant will trigger fruit formation, but usually the incipient fruit will naturally abort before it develops very much.  The fact that I've actually had fruits ripen on 'Marianna 2624' over several consecutive years has been interesting, but -- more meaningfully to me -- has been a really yummy freaky situation. Wink

____________________

Dubyadee,

Nice attempt at the Actinidia cross.  It was certainly worth making.  Quite a number of Kiwi fruit crosses are interspecific in origin, so it's definitely worth the effort.  The broader range of genes and variability provides a lot of interesting possibilities and opportunities.  

I hope that your male Kiwi blooms again this year so that you can get another chance.  How many varieties of Kiwi do you have?

Reinettes

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Rooney
466 Posts
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May 1, 2020 - 10:59 pm

@Reinettes,

Transgressive inheritance is what I am talking about when it comes to, per my comment above, of combining hybrid traits together. I wasn't sure where your head was in level of biology in your first comment so I dared talk of recessive traits and test the skill concerning the mandelian model which since your last post -I can now know you have.

Re-think the hybrid issue that I said earlier about my many flowerless examples of hybrid chokecherry to sweet cherry (all clones 'maxima-14') and go with this hit on google I paste below.

And that's what I do and sometimes find done in nature. My most extreme case find is an old established population (100 tree sucker forest) of clonal 'prunus emarginata X prunus virginiana' with varying degrees of forms and ability to flower.

I therefore stand on my point (and including the Saskatchewan Romance series bush cherry species prunus kerrasis) that variations will be expected in all prunus tissue culture when they are hybrids. It is truly a viable method of crop improvement. My efforts involve asian pear, bitter and pin cherry, and most recently pyrus X malus.

Transgressive Inheritance

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davem
171 Posts
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May 2, 2020 - 4:18 pm

I have grown quite a few apples from seed but have not yet tried to hybridize.  Someday I'd like to try hybridizing some of my seedlings.

I'm debating with myself what I should do with the seedlings after I have taken cuttings and grafted them onto mature trees.  Most are still in pots.  I have two from 15 years ago in the ground, but I'm not sure I want more.  One seems to have a semi-dwarf habit which is nice, the other definitely does not.

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John S
1020 Posts
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May 2, 2020 - 7:45 pm

I've just found the accidental ones. Sometimes I will graft a known variety to them using them as a rootstock.  I get fruit more quickly that way. I have liked some of them.

John S
PDX OR

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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May 3, 2020 - 4:33 pm

Rooney said
Reinettes,

Transgressive inheritance is what I am talking about when it comes to, per my comment above, of combining hybrid traits together. I wasn't sure where your head was in level of biology in your first comment so I dared talk of recessive traits and test the skill concerning the mandelian model ....

Rooney,

I didn't know that I was being quizzed on basic biological and genetic principles.  I must admit that I'm a little disappointed that I needed to "pass" some kind of competence test....

I can assure you that I'm incompetent in a multitude of areas in this life.  I know what I think I know. I know what I'm sure I don't know. I know what I think I don't know.  Sometimes I'm thinking that I don't know anything, and yet I know a reasonable amount for survival and surety about my environment and staying alive.  I just wish I knew why you thought you had to test me.  I've been out of formal school for at least a quarter century.  Now I'm largely being tested in the everyday "school of life."  

Don't take it personally, but I was a bit offended by your attempt to find the level of my head.  I'm still trying to figure that out myself....

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
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May 3, 2020 - 5:23 pm

Over the years, I tried pollinating a few fruits and growing the seeds.  Nothing has come of it.

Two years ago, I pollinated Pawpaw, Sunflower X NC-1 and vice versa.  Those resulted in fruits (my only success with pawpaws).  I planted a number of the seeds, and now have 3 containers with several small seedlings each.  I don't know what I'll do with those.  I most likely will try to nurture them along for a year or two more, to see if I can get them to grow larger and set them out in the sun then.  I understand that pawpaws don't like direct sun in their first couple of years.

I planted seeds from a couple of purchased pluots, so not controlled pollination and I don't know what the parents were.  They grew, I grafted them onto plum trees.  They have variegated purplish foliage, they bloom, but no fruit set in several years.

This year, I pollinated a red flesh Redlove Calypso apple blossom with pollen from columnar Golden Sentinel, and vice versa.  I have the blossoms covered with mesh bags that I bought on Amazon to use as apple bags.  It looks like Calypso took.  I thinned to one fruit.  I'm curious to see if I can get  columnar, red flesh apple.  If the leaves are red, then it's probably red flesh like the Calypso, which has red leaves, young stems, and cambium.  I don't know when columnar trait comes through.  Maybe the Golden Sentinel also took, we'll see.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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May 3, 2020 - 6:00 pm

davem said
I have grown quite a few apples from seed but have not yet tried to hybridize....

I'm debating with myself what I should do with the seedlings after I have taken cuttings and grafted them onto mature trees.  Most are still in pots.  I have two from 15 years ago in the ground, but I'm not sure I want more.  One seems to have a semi-dwarf habit which is nice, the other definitely does not.  

davem,

I have to smile at your quandary.  As I figure it, the quickest way to finding whether a seedling-clone is worth growing or not is to graft it to a mature tree in order to acceleratedly get flowering and fruiting of the clone and be able to make the assessment of its fruit.  In the meantime, you've got these seed-grown plants (--unique clones) that are still growing on their own roots and some day will be MATURE SIZE unless you've assessed the clone and found it wanting... and thereby can discard the original seedling to make room for others.

Thankfully, I'm not yet at that stage, but I am quite aware that such a situation will be arising in about 3+ years.  In an effort to get faster results, I had thought that the best method would be to graft something like 'Northern Spy' (known to produce a good structure) on to an EMLA 27 very dwarfing rootstock to have a "stock plant" to which one could graft seedlings and potentially get earlier bloom and fruit assessment.  Now, I'm starting to think that it would be best to graft the seedling clones onto a well-established and blooming standard-sized tree.  I don't have many of them yet.  

Given the number of seedlings that I have, and the number of seedlings that will result from this year's crosses, I'd say I'm already in a pinch....  🙂   In the meantime, I guess I'll be growing quite a few apples (and a few pears) on their own roots until they get grafted and tested.

One of the reasons that I love our property is that the vast majority of it is native woodland with quite a respectable native species diversity.  When I cut down trees to make room for apples or pears I need to be acutely aware so that I'm not endangering any particular species that we have.  It's all a delicate balance, and I think we know that humans don't always get it right.

Reinettes

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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May 3, 2020 - 6:08 pm

John S said
I've just found the accidental ones. Sometimes I will graft a known variety to them using them as a rootstock.  I get fruit more quickly that way. I have liked some of them....

John S,

Anything from seed is gonna be unique.  If you use them for grafting something that you like then you've already made a good graft.  Most seedlings will be inferior.  Some, but not all.  Be willing to sample those occasional roadside apples that may bring a grimace, or may just knock your socks off!  

I don't know who it was, but somebody sampled this hedgerow tree that we now call 'Hudson's Golden Gem'!

Out there, it's basically "the lottery".

Reinettes

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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May 3, 2020 - 7:38 pm

DanielW said

Two years ago, I pollinated Pawpaw, Sunflower X NC-1 and vice versa.  Those resulted in fruits (my only success with pawpaws).  I planted a number of the seeds, and now have 3 containers with several small seedlings each.  I don't know what I'll do with those....

I planted seeds from a couple of purchased pluots, so not controlled pollination and I don't know what the parents were.  They grew, I grafted them onto plum trees.  They have variegated purplish foliage, they bloom, but no fruit set in several years.

This year, I pollinated a red flesh Redlove Calypso apple blossom with pollen from columnar Golden Sentinel, and vice versa.  I have the blossoms covered with mesh bags that I bought on Amazon to use as apple bags.  It looks like Calypso took.  I thinned to one fruit.  I'm curious to see if I can get  columnar, red flesh apple.  If the leaves are red, then it's probably red flesh like the Calypso, which has red leaves, young stems, and cambium.  I don't know when columnar trait comes through.  Maybe the Golden Sentinel also took, we'll see.  

DanielW,

Interesting crosses!  I have perhaps 4-5 Pawpaw seedlings in tree-pots that were from experimental crosses back East.  I must admit that I've been torturing my saplings for too long; it's time to plant them out.  Regrettably, here in the PNW, pawpaws rarely get enough heat units to mature fruit.  I know where I want to plant mine; I just need to cut down and remove some old senescent cascaras and cut back some vine maples in order to plant them out (--well, and also appropriately amend the soil).  I always figured that -- even if the pawpaws couldn't mature fruit in my area-- their autumnal foliage color alone would most definitely make them worthwhile trees.

I'm particularly fascinated by the fact that you actually got viable seedlings out of pluots!  If they ever set seed, by all means, sow them!  They'll probably be as sterile as my 'Marianna 2624" seeds, but... you never know!

I'm not personally familiar with any of the columnar apples, but I get the impression that they largely arose out of a mutation of McIntosh, a 'Wijcik" clone selection, which almost never produces lateral branches.  Basically, they form a columnar tree which simply produces flowering spurs.  I don't know whether it's a dominant or recessive mutation, but somebody recognized its potential, and its uniqueness certainly made it prime for the hybridizing of "patio-type" compact apple trees.  Given the diversity of these types of commercialized columnar trees over at least the last couple of decades, there must be a tremendous amount of hybridization work going on.  The original 'Wijcik McIntosh' appeared in the 1960s.

If you make a cross, and you never sow the seeds, you'll never know "what might have been".  Yeah, given the odds, a resulting seedling might amount to nothing.  ...But if you don't grow it to fruition, how will you ever know?  That's why controlled crosses provide one with data that one can learn from.  Knowing the characteristics of the two parental clones that you cross allows you to learn something about the genetics involved.  And, of course, crossing a favorite to a favorite increases your odds of something that's at least tasty.

...Like I pointed out to my wife earlier this evening:  The anticipation of the resulting fruit is just one more thing that gives you a reason for living.  🙂  

P.S. -- There are plenty of other reasons to keep living, of course.  It's a biological imperative.  Besides, if you leave the party early, you'll miss all the fun!

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Rooney
466 Posts
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May 3, 2020 - 7:42 pm

DanielW said
This year, I pollinated a red flesh Redlove Calypso apple blossom with pollen from columnar Golden Sentinel, and vice versa.  I have the blossoms covered with mesh bags that I bought on Amazon to use as apple bags.  It looks like Calypso took.  I thinned to one fruit.  I'm curious to see if I can get  columnar, red flesh apple.  If the leaves are red, then it's probably red flesh like the Calypso, which has red leaves, young stems, and cambium.  I don't know when columnar trait comes through.  Maybe the Golden Sentinel also took, we'll see.  

Part of what Daniel said is true of what I just tried a couple of days ago. I pollinated some native malus fusca to a domtesic apple 'winterbanana'. There were a few interesting hopes that I had in mind for this kind of sub-species cross... (malus has no reported sub-species barriers to crossing) ..one is to find out if the pollen of malus fusca can travel the much longer than required distance they normally encounter within the same subspecies. ..two (if one works) is hoping to bring over some of the longer attachment points into domestic malus so that socks are easier to attach. ..three, is the question of how much compatibilty pear grafting goes along with such that malus 'wb' is well compatible with pear grafting. 
(fingers crossed)

I can remember elsewhere on the forums a suggestion that sweet cherry cultivars when crossed are not that large of a fruit. Past 10 years ago I had chosen to grow out two good later flowering habits in a commercial cherry orchard. Just as suggested earlier about combining young wood to the mature scaffold branches of bigger trees to speed things, all three seedlings have been closely almost the same, and for a few year since.

'pollinator' X 'regina' were the parents, each of commercial size and pass-along qualities.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
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May 4, 2020 - 8:57 am

Reinettes, what you said about the columnars being descended from McIntosh ""Wijcik" is correct.  I think it's a dominant mutation, so you only need one chromosome with that mutation.  Because of that, a columnar parent could be both chromosomes columnar type, which would mean all offspring are likely columnar, or one columnar parent and one wild type, which would mean half of offspring are llikely columnar.  If I'm wrong, and it's recessive, then likely none of the offspring will be columnar.  The genetics of red flesh trait are probably more complicated.  My "Redlove Calypso" is new.  I'll only let it have one apple this year.  The "Golden Sentinel" tree is mature, so I'll let it bear lots of fruits, but only one got pollinated from Calypso.  It was raining during most of the time the Calypso was blooming.

Since none of my Redlove trees have borne fruit yet, I have no idea if they will taste good.  You can't believe all of the nursery and breeder hype.  I admire the plant breeder - Markus Korbelt in Switzerland.  He seems almost like a Luther Burbank of modern times.  Of the columnar trees, NorthPole is older, so I'm guessing has more McIntosh genetics than the newer ones.  I think is a delicious apple, bigger than McIntosh and maybe a bit sweeter.  I also think Golden Sentinel and Scarlett Sentinel are delicious apples.  I may not be that good of a judge, but I think they certainly beat any grocery apple and some other home grown ones.  They also have good genetics, based on the reports of their parentage.  Of the Urban Apples, I have never tasted them.  I have two very small trees that are blooming now - Tasty Red and Golden Treat.  They come from Europe, the same plant breeder who developed "Opal" apple, the late Jaruslav Tupy.  Part of the basis was to be disease resistant.  Redlove are also meant to be disease resistant. I wanted to cross one of the Redlove with one of the Urban, to include disease resistance, but that didn't happen this year.

Rooney, I wonder why Winter Banana is compatible with apple.  Maybe it has something not-apple, if not pear per se, in its genetics.  I grafted some Winter Banana this year, both for itself and as interstem for some Bartlet-like pear.  I don't know yet how they will do.  The graft with Bud-9 Rootstock, Winter Banana interstem, then pear, looked nonviable but now might have some weak growth.  No where near what the apple grafts have, and less than pear on Chinese Haw.  Longer stems for sock attachment sounds clever to me, and worth pursuing.  I wonder if crossing some Malus fusca into home apples would increase disease resistance, too.  Most of the PRI disease resistant apples get that from Malus floribunda, and some diseases are becoming more resistant to that genetics.

John, you are keeping the genetic diversity going.  That seems like a very good thing.

One thing I like about amateur breeding, is that it does not have the commercial limitations and goals.  My experience with a lot of the Zaiger products is that they don't do well here in my garden.  They are bread for California climate, so that rules out a lot of the peaches.  They don't need to worry about Peach Leaf Curl, for one thing, but here it kills my trees. They need to concentrate on shipping qualities of their fruits, so the fruit needs to be firm and not easily bruised.  Those are less important in the home orchard, not zero importance but less.  They need bigger fruit size.  We like that, but flavor is more important.    What I like about what was done in WA with breeding Cosmic Crisp, was they included disease resistance in the genetics.  I'm not that crazy about the flavor, it's OK but mostly sweet/sour, to my taste buds, nothing that stands out like some historic apples.  Part of the hype for Cosmic Crisp was they can be kept in storage for a long time - a year if I remember.  That is good too for the home grower.  But maybe the home grower can breed apples or other fruits that, while not commercial or marketable, are more suitable for local or home conditions and goals.

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Rooney
466 Posts
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May 4, 2020 - 10:18 am

Excellent Daniel, for your double chromosome comment to Reinettes, and thankyou!

For at least the 3 of us know the definition of homozygous and heterozygous, but there are probably at least more.

Last pear scion gathering that took place prior of what was supposed to be the big scion exchange at Corvallis was this curious looking pear tree that was nearest to where we gathered. It was a tree like the sentinel series by the cultivat name 'poire vert' (I think I got that right). Which is reported to be homozygous for the dominant double genes of compact growth. Meaning of course: any pollen collected from the hairs of a bee that just visited a 'poire vert' would pollinate any other pear flower on another non compact tree to produce 100% phenotypical compactness.

I am told this came about from 'nain vert' as another compact grandparent, but unsure about if the grandparent is homo or heterozygous. It seems hypothetically possible through jumping genes and sideways genetic transfer that compact genes worked into the original grandparent from an apple now that we know about compatible interstems between malus and pyrus.

'Nain vert' is said to be worthless in fruit qualities, and 'poire vert' a good one, though I have tried neither myself. A late breeder told me long ago 'winter banana' was said to be a kind of hybrid apple. So Peter Svenith (late) had been the only source I have ever heard rumored of it.

I spent time with him in his Vashon Island WA asian pear breeding farm in the 90s picking fruit samples. The asian pears are invented recenly as originally named "nashi pears" some 500 years old through Japan breeders. Therefore most Peters were rather close to the wild harbin pear ancestry in being tart. As said before these can be changed sometimes for the better or worse by hosting on other pear trees if the seedling is yet young as this is something fascinating to me.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
229 Posts
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May 7, 2020 - 9:12 pm

Well... it's now a few days later, and I'd love to comment on the various interesting posts that have been made in previous days.  It sounds to me like several of you are engaged in your own interesting crosses and experimentation.  I can't comment on all of the interesting, individual, experimental crosses, but it's great to see the amount of experimentation that's going on.

Research your plants of interest, starting with their taxonomic affinities and chromosome counts, potential genetic inter-compatibilities, etc.  

Floyd Zaiger has created some amazing interspecific hybrids over the years, but I get the impression that he has been using "embryo rescue" technology in order to bring some of his crosses to fruition.  Certainly an amazing achievement with "tasty" results.  However, it seems that at least some of these interspecific fruit tree clones, despite how well they do for him in his area, can only be successfully grown in very limited geographic and climatic areas.  I certainly don't mean to denigrate his accomplishments, but the resulting cultivars need to be able to thrive when cultivated in various diverse environments.  

Interspecific hybrids in the genus Prunus (taken as a whole) would normally not result in a viable seed.  [E.g., cherry x plum, plum x peach, cherry x peach, etc.]  Consequently, crosses, that under natural conditions would abort their embryos, may on occasion be excised from the seed-coat and put on a specially formulated agar solution to develop further and be grown into viable plants.  The resulting plants -- being progeny of two different species artificially bridged across a genetic abyss, and unable to produce viable seed of their own -- will not be able to produce viable seeds in a cross-pollination endeavor because the original F1 cross itself would not have survived outside of in vitro rescue effort.  This is why the few fruits that I have gotten over the years on my 'Marianna 2624' plum don't produce viable seeds.  I don't know whether there has been any recent DNA work on Prunus (on par with that done in Malus) to actually determine the parentage of 'Marianna 2624', but Alfred Rehder, a few decades ago, speculated (based on morphology) that the parentage might be "Prunus cerasifera x munsoniana or ?angustifolia" [sic].  

OK.  I think that I'm getting ahead of myself in trying to explain things.  There are few things worse than seeing the eyes of those to whom you are speaking glaze-over.  My apologies.  By all means, anyone with a differing perspective on these matters please correct me where I'm wrong.  I feel like I'm lecturing but I am not qualified to be a lecturer and I don't want to be one.  I much prefer the exchange of thoughtful ideas.

I've blathered enough.

Forum friends:  please follow hygienic protocols as recommended by the scientific experts and not politicians.  We all need to be rational about dealing with the current coronavirus peril.  [Monty Python:  "Let me go back in there and face the peril."  "No, no, it's much too perilous!"]

Reinettes

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Rooney
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May 8, 2020 - 7:19 am

Reinettes (per post-16):
I agree on all your observations and opinions. Some of which remind me of what Luther Burbank had with raspberry and F1 hybrids of 2 species, in which rasberry as a whole are "more used to it" as far as mixing the genome together. The 'paradox' he had illustrated as a very stable show. However he well noted the bulk of the sibling F1 crosses were weak, which demonstrates that ourselves or with mother nature can only do so much.
(Burbanks raspberry & blackberry)

When Lon and I became friends on his farm in Aurora Oregon during my period of time spent there cultivating his pyrus ecotypes, I got introduced to a few pass-along projects that he basically inherited from others. (those remembering the old forums would remember him) One of these were prunus insititia that would only partially encase the internal kernel with the outer bone. Now this p. insititia species is hexaploid (6x), and the writer of the book Advances in Fruit Breeding, Jiles Jannick had talked with some people and found that chromosome diploids (2x) can combine with 6x, the offspring combining into tetraploids and fertile 4x, unlike the many weaklings found in wider crosses. 

But the idea of an edible kernel wasn't too appealing with the p. insititia plum because, of course the cyanide. However I have heard of people crossing 2x apricots (not just plums) with hexaploid plums before. To plan such a thing with sweet pit apricot might work, or almonds are also 2x.

Some of what I have found locally at my home over the last few years (of more maturity in my aquired wisdom thanks to books et all) that thus far I am able to cross pollinate things very wide. Things that set well enough they could be considered real pollinators. Were it not that they bloom at completely differing times they could be considered such.
-The malus bacatta is able to pollinate pyrus betulafolia.
-The prunus nigra is able to pollinate prunus insititia (st julien-a).

I could never get any results on hybrid marriana 2624 with amy other plum, but the same plum would do better results on even sweet cherry. (a weird one!)  When I see good results on anything weird I just make sure I don't waste my time planting any seeds out until I had seen 2-3 years worth of good seed set so that I don't have to feel disappointed. So I had given up on the marianna this year but not cherry yet.

Which along those lines one of my favorite passions are just talking to the experienced. Then take what they know, condense that, and go further. This is how I ended up not being suprised to hear from Daniel in post-14 that pear is not perfectly fine on apple, but the other way is so far perfectly fine. My last look into it was 'magness' pear grafted on malus 'palmetta' (a pear compatible cultivar). The control was 'magness' on pyrus betulafolia.

This combination grows with no problems on either of the above stocks, however there are more fertility problems having magness pear on apple then on the pyrus. The flowers in both cases start to form. On malus the small developing flowers buds turn black where on pyrus they mature but lack the ability to set fruit. 

If I hear of a good place to send in for leaf nutrient analysis I think I would like now to send each in for testing.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
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February 12, 2021 - 7:41 pm

Rooney said

>> Jiles Jannick had talked with some people and found that chromosome diploids (2x) can combine with 6x, the offspring combining into tetraploids and fertile 4x, unlike the many weaklings found in wider crosses.... I could never get any results on hybrid marriana 2624 with any other plum, but the same plum would do better results on even sweet cherry. (a weird one!) 

Your point being, of course, that M2624 is triploid so would only rarely be successful in any crosses. Did you make any successful cherry x plum crosses with other plums?

The stability of even-number ploidy levels is behind my choice of breeding projects. As you know I have assembled a collection of sweet cherry (p. avium, 2x), plum  (p. domestica, 6x) and sour cherry (p. cerasus, 4x). My plan is to matrix the sweet cherries against the plums with the thought that potential offspring would be 4x. The next step would be to matrix those 4x f1's against the 4x tart cherries. I chose not to work with Asian plums (2x,4x) because, well, Zaiger already did it and because I'm hoping for more sweet cherry-like results than he got.

I've wondered if Zaiger tried European plums against sweet cherries in his breeding program. He was heavily influenced by his work for Burbank so he might have had some bias based on that experience. Or, maybe he did it and was unsuccessful.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
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February 13, 2021 - 9:47 am

RE: -Crankyankee yesterday
       -Zaiger

In my own attempt for information I looked up and down his diploid sweet cherry crosses patent information. I did so because I wanted to experiment with haploid pollen from diploid hybrids he or such as others had filed, such as in the case of 'Nadia' by others. Patents have Nadia as first generation (F1) thus less likely to cross out to other hybrid plums or hybrid cherries, which you are likely to know they are **weak. Background: **R. Sawatsky & hybrid plums.

My experience also applies this problematic point in first generation (in fertility) is one also applicable to "sweet cherry & native cherry" (ie. x-pugetensis) of which also are of the lower same ploidy numbers diploid.

There almost needs to be a good reason to get past these infertility barriers as imposed by two species because it required back-crossing with trees to overcome these problems. Instead of waiting I look through some of the patents for any sweet cherry & plum hybrids that are already bred to such a condition of higher fertility which can only be done searching the patents. Of most value to myself is 'sugar-twist' which is 5/8 plum, 1/4 peach and unfortunately only 1/8 sweet cherry. So if you happened to find any more varietal hybrid names with more low ploidy in the cherry & plum department I would be pleased to know.

Another point about cherries as far as my own is concerned. I have had several tissue propagated purchases of 'maxima-14' cherry hybrid rootstock as released by the trade as part of volunteer trialing experiments. Un-grafted they after 15 years of watching them in an un-grafted state are very variable. They will sometimes flower and rarely set fruit in extremely low numbers. The level of fertility is low enough to compare to the hybrid triploid (3x) gisela-5 adult that I also have. So after reviewing old disclosures of how and where these maxima were raised it seems very apparent that it was only an "old estimation" they were Sweet cherry (2x) & St Lucie cherry (2x) aka p mahaleb. To me they are all naturally grouped siblings of Tart cherry & St Lucie cherry.

One might assume that the Marianna 2624 (per my May 2020 above) is as well as the case I just made some fluke chance triploid hybrid of two diploid parental lines. So without lots of information and the lack of new microscopic tools these old folks have had a hard time coming very real in where they thought their trees really were.

As well from after last year's pollination I found no seeds in my pyrus x malus, and my insititia plum (6x) x nigra plum (2x) did have the fruits fully matured. In the case of the plum the only barrier is timing of flowers.

This year I am to be using the nigra plum pollen on van sweet cherry up and down the whole tree because of a good enough minumum set ratio last year. I should trial this nigra pollen to my hex 6x insititia plum tree and in a few other directions to include sweet cherry for you. My goal is quite different than yours.

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Rooney
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February 13, 2021 - 6:07 pm

When planning you might well want and decide to look at the female tree being the smaller species. In which if you planned on the female being the bushy form species sand cherry aka. prunus besseyi (a true plum 2x) and any other plum species being the larger then p. besseyi X p. domestica (female designated first) then the outcome will prove to be much smaller then the other way around. This should also apply to the closely related bushy beach plum or prunus maritima as the substitution.

The lead was taken on the aspects of this by the following link where these true plums they list as sand cherry were crossed with almost all other kinds of plums around the world;

https://core.ac.uk/download/pd.....583571.pdf

Also note the weak fertility between plum and sweet cherry per page 14. But certainly note the whole document concerning the transfer verses omissions of the super-genes or what ever it is through the maternal tree forms that transfers across. I think they stay that way past F1 so it would be DNA.

Man-made crosses bring to light things that don't normally happen in nature such as one specific type of plum flowering before another. This is not so unnatural in interior Alaska. An almost retired friend of mine doing the same things as I saves his mongolian bush cherry seeds (true cherry 4x, prunus fruiticosa) that have some spring overlap with his earlier american plums (ie. very wide crosses) and it happens due to very quick transitions away from winter to summer temperatures. He spreads these cherry seeds in the ground plot area for germination and sometimes seedlings with all the leaf character of plums that grow nearby develop out of these. However as I understand they lack robustness due to harsh winters, they are weak in some regard, then die.

But really take a serious look at the entire document and see for yourself.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
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February 13, 2021 - 9:19 pm

Thanks for these references. I know Hansen's work with prairie roses, there was a group of successors who carried it on including Percy Wright, Walter Schowalter, Robert Simonet, Robert Erskine, George Bugnet and Frank L. Skinner. Schowalter's daughter Margit is a friend of mine. If you need a yellow rose for Alaska try Prairie Peace and maybe Bill Reid if you can find them.

https://www.helpmefind.com/gar.....#038;tab=1

>>There almost needs to be a good reason to get past these infertility barriers as imposed by two species because it required back-crossing with trees to overcome these problems. 

Timing is not the only barrier. You also have the mostly unknown, for plums, problem of self-sterility alleles. For cherries this system has been worked out pretty well so you can know which diploids crosses will not be successful.

https://drive.google.com/file/.....sp=sharing (Excel spreadsheet)

Basics and more on cherries here -

https://www.rosbreed.org/breed.....patibility

My guess is that wild type cherries have s-alleles that overlap with domestic cherries to at least some degree so that it is necessary to do survey crosses against as many different s-allele domestic types as you can get pollen from. It may also be wise to try the self-compatible types like Stella. Van is compatibility group II so that may be a clue about nigra.

For plums there is not as much information and, because the high ploidy level, it is not as simple. Although, from what I have read so far, self sterility is not as strict as it is for cherries because of the polyploidy.

If you can get these articles by Dr. Julia Halász in the January 2019 edition of Acta horticulturae 1231(1231) you will be up to date on self-compatibility for plums.

1. S-allele constitution of hexaploid European plum cultivars, p151-156,

2. Self-compatibility in Prunus: Accidents in transposon traffic? p123-130,

3. S-genotyping of Hungarian sour cherry cultivars, p161-166.

This past October I wrote to her for reprints and to ask specifically if enough was known now to design interspecific crosses between cherries and European plums so as to minimize cross-incompatibility based on the S-alleles. I did not get any response and so far have not been able to come up with these papers on my own. I need to take a ride to a university library once I break out of quarantine which will be in a few weeks, got my first shot this week.

>>My goal is quite different than yours.

?

From reading your posts it looks like you are mostly trying to generate improved stone fruit for your northwest environs using a strategy of introgressing domesticated prunus genes into American wild type prunus. You seem to have cast a broad net in this regard. Have you narrowed your focus?

>> if you happened to find any more varietal hybrid names with more low ploidy in the cherry & plum department I would be pleased to know.

This guy Brian Smith at University of Wisconson Fall River (Zlesak's uni btw) has carried on his father's work with plum hybrids. I wrote to him last fall too, got no answer to my question asking have they released any of these cultivars yet. Beach plum figures in this mix.

https://fruit.wisc.edu/2019/08.....idization/

I am still trying to find a source for beach plums, so far only one lead and its not solid.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
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February 13, 2021 - 11:08 pm

Hi again Crankyankee.

I have not looked into your links yet. Thanks for the three quotes. It gives me space in a new post to expand some of each of them as one general commentary.

Barriers" (quote /unquote) is not referring necessarily to timing. There is actually a whole other dimension to what occurs in cool springs that make crosses much harder in flowers. So when your talking stone fruit flowers that typically flower much earlier in the spring than roses or apples the factors that relate to false fruit set or self incompatibility will rise. Any plum breeder would know this as well that as you refer to a sweet cherry van >> "compatibility group II " is a very much smaller issue being raised to the breeder when crossing to plums of any kind. I am sorry you didn't know that from Brian.

There are many references. The plum cherry hybrid Nadia breeder tried about 200 plum flowers to come up with about half a dozen live trees. I think 2-3 were fertile one of the best being Nadia. Brian Smith isn't telling you that he's tried hard to cross sweet cherry and plum together. But because of others (unlike where he is) in warmer areas like California and Nadia in Australia where fertility is naturally high -only then is this wide cross a feasible idea. And as said it seems feasible in interior Alaska sometimes when we see bees get the results per the wide cross between late flowers of american plum pollen to bush cherry.

The point is not well pointed to scientifically as to why. So I can't quickly brief you. Again it's simply not compatibility groups. Prunus inside of Rosacea have barriers in addition to compatibility groups as they have evolved both. But if you wish I will PM you several discussions on the prunus specific issue that does not even apply to most other rosacea, apples-roses included in that group so just PM me because we would almost need a new forum classification to adequately discuss the details.

Tomorrow I will check my PM because this is important to you and then too, I am sure I will enjoy your links tomorrow with more time.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
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February 15, 2021 - 11:44 am

Here are the two seedlings so far from my cross of red flesh Redlove Calypso(TM) with columnar Golden Sentinel.

 

Apple Seedlings

I stratified the seeds from apple harvest (August, maybe Sept) in moist paper towel in ziplock sandwich bag in fridge.   I changed the paper towel once or twice due to mildew.  I thought the pepper seeds planted in these cell packs were not going to grow, about 2 weeks ago, and planted the apple seeds then.  So one now has companion Thai pepper seedlings after all.  Smile Obviously, the genetics is such that not all of the seedlings have the red leaf trait.  Maybe its on one chromosome and is recessive, and the parent tree was half red heritage, which would mean Rr, so the red seedling is also Rr and the green one is rr (R for red).  Columnar trait is also recessive, so either of these could be Cc or cc (c for columnar).  It will be interesting to find out.  I hope to make more crosses this year.

I had no good description for how to start apple seeds.  This was good for 2 out of 5 seeds.  The seeds all had red seed coats.  I don't know if the others will germinate, or if they are not viable.

I red that apple flesh and apple skin are separate genetics, which is while something like Airlie Red Flesh can have greenish yellow skin but pink flesh, while other apples have red skin but yellow or white flesh.  Who knows what will happen with these seedlings, assuming they grow up.

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Rooney
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February 17, 2021 - 12:46 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....ove_apples

Why would wikipedia never alert to type-1 or type-2 genetics in the red flesh lineup? Type-1 is a single locus that determines red leaf and flesh by other web resources and if your seedling to the left will stay constant red then what you put out is a proper assessment of the odds. I guess the bigger question is where, if any, you knew what color of leaf the red Redlove (TM) came of? 

It's a good strategy and love these ideas, so if it's legal we should do it more. It raises questions, so what about patented trees; okay to breed them while in an active patent status; aimed towards another use of the art? (etc.)

My guess is this is the same material that Phil Forseline talked about at the Leech gardens botanical show. We were introduced to new apples from wild overseas and others in his collections were offered out to researchers with red flesh and small crab-apple size. I can only speculate between the two types which were offered. So about improvements, I am glad you're picking that up! Columnar red-flesh high quality apples already sounds really great!

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
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February 20, 2021 - 8:44 am

@Rooney, the leaves and flowers of that Redlove(TM) Calypso(TM) are dark red with a greenish cast, similar to the seedling.  The flowers are dark pink, and the cambium is red.  It's as if one dipped the whole plant into some red dye.  I think Bud9 is also like that, as is Redfield apple.  It may come from a shared Malus niedzwetzkyana ancestor, which if you can spell without looking it up, you are a lot smarter than me.

I am not a lawyer, but I read that it's fine to grow seeds from patented trees.  It is not OK to propagate patented trees vegetatively.  Also, it's not OK to propagate or grow seeds from genetically engineered plants, because then it is the gene that is patented.  I only know of a few  apples that are genetically modified, and those are gene silenced, not gene added, to stop browning reaction (Arctic (TM) series).  I don't know if those are patented.

As far as I have been able to determine, Redlove series trees are not patented.  They do have copyrights.  Either way, if you grow a seedling from them, it is genetically different from the parent so is not patented and it would be inappropriate to refer to them by the trademark name.

It will be a long tine before I know if my seedlings amount to anything.

If interested, here is a link to an article about growing apple seedlings from juvenile nonfruiting stage, to adult fruiting stage.  They state that is at about 77 to 122 internodes. They give some options to encourage earlier maturity.

Shortening Juvenile Stage for Apple Seedlings.

I have noted that horizontal branches tend to bloom earlier, so I wonder about grafting to a bearing tree and bending the growth to horizontal,

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Rooney
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March 8, 2021 - 10:14 pm

@daniel, bud9 is like that. I remember it from a few years ago helping Joannie's group found Botners apples when we went from a group of other rootstocks that were typical green to bud9 typical red and no green. The bark was never in the slip so I am not sure if the cambium is red but with bud9 Malus niedzwetzkyana. However in each and every case other than Malus niedzwetzkyana (outside of malus as well) it is the phloem that is green.

It's interesting they state 77 to 122 internodes. In my days I had tested a highly productive nashi pear on quince-C. I set two of the said quince clones beside each other, grafted juvenile root sprouts from nashi 2-2-40 to one and flowering wood to the other. The tallest at 5 feet was the one with juvenile wood and made the tree with flowering wood look significantly small. They stood beside each other for years with no capacity of the tall juvenile tree to produce flowers.

My newest 2021 breeding strategy is to develop my own lots of malus hybrid seedlings of cultivar hardy malus 'palmetta'. This is a very winter hardy apple for extreme cold. It's unusual that it grafts well with nashi pear and the palmetta is not normally selfing unless, wait for it, -grafted to pyrus. These new seedlings will serve as future stock in interior Alaska conditions as the dominant skeleton of which to get grafted onto by newer nashi crosses that I am also making out well with over time because they are short season. Nashi are not hardy and so in the future it will be interesting to find out how much hardiness the skeleton will impress upon the nashi.

Nashi pears are the standard Japanese pears of the type that are usually round and crisp.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
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March 13, 2021 - 7:39 am

This begs the question of whether precocious rootstocks like Newroot1, Krymsk1, Pixie, Citation and Clare (Corette series) break the internode rule and allow us to speed up the breeding cycle.

Does anyone have any direct experience grafting seedlings onto precocious rootstocks?

>>It's interesting they state 77 to 122 internodes. In my days I had tested a highly productive nashi pear on quince-C. I set two of the said quince clones beside each other, grafted juvenile root sprouts from nashi 2-2-40 to one and flowering wood to the other. The tallest at 5 feet was the one with juvenile wood and made the tree with flowering wood look significantly small. They stood beside each other for years with no capacity of the tall juvenile tree to produce flowers.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
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March 13, 2021 - 8:10 am

Here is update on the Redlove Calypso X Golden Sentinel seedlings.   I transferred them about ten days ago into fresh potting soil, out of the seed starting medium.  For brevity, I labeled them CalGo#1, #2, and #3.  Short for Calypso golden.

CalGo #1.  The first to germinate.  I think there might have been something wrong with the seedling mix, or an issue with the LED lights.  The first true leaves were distorted.  Then it shot up with new growth.  The leaves are not as dark red as the cotyledons.  Maybe that's the filtered light in my sunroom, or an LED effect.

apple seedling

CalGo#2.  The second seedling to emerge.  A little less vigorous than #1 but still growing nicely.  The leaves are green, but the petioles, stems, and main veins on undersides of leaves are a bit red.

apple seedling

Calgo #3.  This is the last to emerge, almost as red as #1.  Again, the cotyledons were darker red compared to the true leaves.  It's interesting, this one has much shorter interstem.  I don't know if that is evidence of columnar habit, which includes short interstem, or just a growth stage or growth condition issue.  It's fun to speculate and of course, I hope it is evidence of columnar habit.

apple seedling

Hybridizers make thousands of crosses and grow thousands of seedlings.  My efforts are infinitely more modest, and just doing it for fun.  Still, if one of these gives a reasonably good apple, especially if red flesh and ornamental, and on columnar form, it will be fun.  Next effort planned is more red flesh X North Pole, columnar which I like the best, large sweet apples with McIntosh flavor.  Also maybe red flesh X something big and sweet, like Beni Shogun Fugi, or Jonagold, to make up for these red flesh apples being smaller and less sweet so far.  I don't know if triploids can be crossed with dibloids.  Somewhere I read there are apples descended from Liberty or Gravenstein.  Those might be exceedingly rare, or via embryo rescue or something.  But it won't kill me to try.

Also, if there are about 6 internodes now, in about a month, that might get them to 30 or more by fall, a good  ways toward the supposedly magic 70s (to 120s) for blooming.  Interesting to speculate on when there might a result.  These are highly pampered now, in Sunroom with LEDs to lengthen the day, in a good potting soil.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
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March 13, 2021 - 8:40 am

Crankyankee said
This begs the question of whether precocious rootstocks like Newroot1, Krymsk1, Pixie, Citation and Clare (Corette series) break the internode rule and allow us to speed up the breeding cycle.

Does anyone have any direct experience grafting seedlings onto precocious rootstocks?

>>It's interesting they state 77 to 122 internodes. In my days I had tested a highly productive nashi pear on quince-C. I set two of the said quince clones beside each other, grafted juvenile root sprouts from nashi 2-2-40 to one and flowering wood to the other. The tallest at 5 feet was the one with juvenile wood and made the tree with flowering wood look significantly small. They stood beside each other for years with no capacity of the tall juvenile tree to produce flowers.  

Crankyyankee, I don't know if that observation would carry over to other species.  In the article, they are just looking at apple seedlings.  I've been seeking information regarding whether losing the juvenile (non blooming) trait is due to issues such as carbohydrate storage in stems, or something epigenetic, or what else.  Something tells me it is epigenetic, because you can graft a fruiting stage scion and get bloom more quickly than grafting a juvenile stage scion.

I've read that grafting seedlings to mature trees can speed up fruiting.  I don't have experience with that.  I did graft some variegated plum or pluot, grown from purchased farmers market "pluots" that were deep red, throughout the fruit.  Unknown variety and pollenizer.  Those have pretty variegated leaves, bloom very early, and have never fruited.  I keep them for novelty and because I grew them.  It's been about six or seven years.  They are top grafted onto other plum trees.

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Rooney
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March 13, 2021 - 12:41 pm

Crankyankee said >> Does anyone have any direct experience grafting seedlings onto precocious rootstocks?

After Dr. Bors and R. Sawatsky came out with prunus x-kerrasis ~2005 a chinese lady student performing a thesis partly discovered that p kerrasis ground cherry seedlings could have been used and promoted as top grafts on older forms that have already escaped the principles of juvenile. I did not hang onto the information very tightly thus don't still have it, neither had I yet tried, but I do remember a graft done as such of the within the same program facilitates the goal to fruit by a whole year. 

It's more common knowledge (on another point) when cross species breeding in the genera prunus that the pistillate parent is usually the one that would contribute (inherit) speed of flowering towards the offspring. 

Both these points look like epigenetic influencing ... and if I remember correctly serviceberry (amelanchier) breeding grafting goals were attempted (per thesis), but no epigenetic mentoring effects had taken place.

Daniel; nice red apple veins! As I tried to find any link to the thesis above I ran into this:
Reduced_generation_time_of_apple_seedlings_to_within_a_year_by_means_of_a_plant_virus_vector

I am not sure the institutions will allow you to get those two genes that are involved in your hand though. In light of this it certainly looks as though these are ordinary epigenetic principles that are not persistent so maybe they will hand you something.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
458 Posts
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March 13, 2021 - 4:42 pm

Rooney said
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....ove_apples

Why would wikipedia never alert to type-1 or type-2 genetics in the red flesh lineup? Type-1 is a single locus that determines red leaf and flesh by other web resources and if your seedling to the left will stay constant red then what you put out is a proper assessment of the odds. I guess the bigger question is where, if any, you knew what color of leaf the red Redlove (TM) came of? 

It's a good strategy and love these ideas, so if it's legal we should do it more. It raises questions, so what about patented trees; okay to breed them while in an active patent status; aimed towards another use of the art? (etc.)

My guess is this is the same material that Phil Forseline talked about at the Leech gardens botanical show. We were introduced to new apples from wild overseas and others in his collections were offered out to researchers with red flesh and small crab-apple size. I can only speculate between the two types which were offered. So about improvements, I am glad you're picking that up! Columnar red-flesh high quality apples already sounds really great!  

Rooney,

As far as I can determine, Redlove® varieties are not patented.  I've looked and looked and looked to find it.  I think if they were patented, the nurseries would say so.  So would Lubera.  I have looked on google patent search, too.  However, even if they were, you can still grow seedlings, which are each genetically unique and are not clones of their parent.  You can't clone patented varieties, but you can grow their seedlings.  The exception is if a gene is patented, ie, genetically engineered varieties.  You can't propagate GMO plants because it's the gene that is patented.   However, these apple varieties are not genetically engineered.  They do have a trademark, but that is not the same thing.  I can't use their trademark name for progeny, or for clones, and I wont.   Again, I'm not a lawyer so I'm open to someone who is.

This info is from the US Patent office: "Grant of a plant patent precludes others from asexually reproducing, selling, offering for sale, or using the patented plant or any of its parts in the United States or importing them into the United States."  I bolded the "asexually".  Seed hybridization is not asexual.  The website further states "Asexual reproduction is the propagation of a plant without the use of fertilized seeds to assure an exact genetic copy of the plant being reproduced. Any known method of asexual reproduction which renders a true genetic copy of the plant may be employed. "  Again, my bolding.   Sexual reproduction, on the other hand, combines the genes from both parents, resulting in plants that are genetically unique, and not at all an exact genetic copy of either parent.

As for the genetics of the red flesh trait and red leaf (stem, cambium) trait, I don't know.  I read somewhere, red skin and red flesh are under separate genetic control.   For example, Redlove® all seem to have red skin AND red flesh (and red coloration in young leaves on my trees, and red-ish flowers).  On the other hand, Airlie Red Flesh has green or, if really ripe, translucent yellowish skin with some red flesh color showing through.  I forget if Airlie Red Flesh has red cambium too.  I'm speculating but I think the red flesh trait is from Malus niedzwetzkyana.

(From the wikipedia I guess I should use ® instead of TM.  Depends on where and whether the trademark is registered.  I  try very hard to respect these issues.  Either way, that is trademark, not patent.  I  wont call any seedlings by those names).  

All of thus prompted me to see if my Redlove® apple trees have red leaves all year.  Actually, the only photo I have shows that just the new growth was red.  The older leaves were green.  Sometimes my brain is a sieve!  This is May 2020, Redlove® Era®  Based on this, I bet the seedlings leaves will green up as they mature, too.  Time will tell.

Redlove Era apple tree

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
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March 13, 2021 - 6:34 pm

Thanks Rooney.

I think I'll stick to the old fashioned methods, growing with good light, nutrition, warmth, grafting.

Engineered make me think too much about the remake of Planet if the Apes,when the Simian virus killed off most of humanity. Not that a plant virus will do that, but Im not in that much of a hurry, either. ?  Or a certain other virus I won't  name.

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Rooney
466 Posts
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March 14, 2021 - 11:06 am

You know about patents. Thanks for being so meticulous.

Now that it's straight that this breeding of a patented cultivar isn't stealing, that we know you are breeding leaf curl resistant peaches like your " designated as cowlitz peach ", and short internode peaches make for stylish trees that are easier to prolong due to the ease of coverage against a few months of PNW winter rains, then you must contact me for free peach pollen. 

Let the PNW breeding begin. Smile I will PM you now.

Daniel: I got your note about declining my offer of this pollen, thanks. Since it has curl resistance, short internodes, and blooms the same period of time as my part plum/peach/sweet cherry (ie. 'sugar twist', today 3-15-2021) then I think I will attempt a stylish short internode plum on the same. If it is to work at all it would take 2 more pure selective plum backcrosses. Smile

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
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March 17, 2021 - 4:28 pm

I have a "purple-leaf" Malus fusca that I found on my property 3 or 4 years ago when I was doing my usual wandering about the place in spring looking at "what's comin' up".  Throughout the property that spring, there were numerous seedlings of our native "Swamp crabapple" that were germinating, but this one -- with its cotyledons still in evidence and about to unfurl its third "true" leaf -- looked anomalous for its leaf color.  I dug it up and transplanted it to a 2-gallon pot to grow on and determine whether it was truly a mutation, or whether it was purple-leaved due to something in the soil.  As it turned out, this M. fusca is the equivalent of the "purple-leaved-plums-purple".  Personally, I don't think of the leaf color as "purple", which is why I put it in quotation marks.  (I'm picky about color terms.)

Anyway, after transplanting the seedling to a pot, it grew to about 12 inches during that first summer, then our doe (--a deer, a female deer--) nipped off the top two inches.  I then moved it to a more protected place amid other apples where it then sent up 2 new leaders the next year from the ultimate and penultimate vegetative buds.  This past year has been its 3rd year of growth.  By observing Malus fusca on our property over the last 20+ years, I know that the "seedling" won't bloom for at least 10 years.  Consequently, while trying to protect the plant from the deer, and other perils, I'm hoping to graft the clone to M26 and M27 in order to get it to flower earlier so that I can use it for crosses that will potentially produce a semi-dwarfing rootstock that will be tolerant of my heavy, hibernally wet soil.  

Over the last couple of years I've wanted to mention the clone and post a photo of the leaves, but, despite the helpful recommendations of HOS Forum members, I have not yet been able to post any photo online.  ...It's no fun being a physical dinosaur in an abstract computer era.

Suffice to say, I'm hoping to keep the clone alive and graft it to other rootstocks so that I can at least keep the clone alive in some form, regardless of rootstock type.  I believe that it would be useful in potentially breeding for rootstocks amenable to the Pacific Northwest.  The reason that the leaf color mutation would be particularly beneficial in such an endeavor is that -- in the F1 and F2 generations of seedlings -- those with the burgundy leaf coloration would make their hybridity known by their phenology.  That, in itself, would speed up the selection process, especially if crossed to another "purple-leaf" variety, of which there are few.  

By the way, although I still have only the one clone, it was in my nature to give it a cultivar "pet" name when I realized that it was definitely unique:  Malus fusca 'Vinummei'.  I just hope that I can keep it alive and propagate it sufficiently so that our local rabbits, deer, other critters, and general unforeseeable mayhem and acts of God, don't annihilate the variety.  I'm hoping to eventually send scion wood to the National Germplasm collection in the next year or two if I have sufficient vigorous growth to do so.  [By nature, the species has very thin annual stem growth which I presume would make grafts more difficult].  My job is to keep the clone alive in the mean time.  I've lost unique plants in the past, so I guess that you could say I'm a bit paranoid on such matters.  

My primary goal in this case is to ultimately get seedling crosses of M. fusca 'Vinummei' by 'EMLA 27' dwarfing.  I figure that this cross would result in the most useful seedlings in regard to a range of possible dwarfing or semi-dwarfing effects produced by the rootstocks.  

Reinettes.

P.S.--Wishing all of you northern hemisphere folks a GREAT spring!  

P.P.S.--When I should be starting our 2021 garden, and doing all kinds of other time-critical things,... I've been called to Jury Duty for the entire month of April. Smile  Odds?  What are those?

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