the best loking tomato plant in my garden this year is a spontaneous one. I cannot yet figure out what it is. I'll send pics in case someone can help me, yet, this is not the point.
This plant has been enduring negative temeratures at least 4 times, without me doing anything to protect it, then I let it suffer under the really heavy temperatures we've had for more than two month. No irrigation at all (until 2 days ago, it had not been raining a single drop for something like 10 weeks).
This plant is starting to set fruits, and is by far the best looking one.
I'll send pictures when possible.
My point is : would it be interesting to make a cross with this plant ? and which direction should I be looking ?
Last Edit: Jun 2, 2011 21:01:08 GMT -8 by moino007
Thanks for bringing up tomatoes for a change. Yes, I have frost resistant tomatoes. Norelco is my best one but I have so many I can't even remember their names. Most all of the go back to 77 280. The fruits can even take freezing. I have been using these in my breeding work for 33 years. The origin goes back to the highest altitudes where wild tomatoes can exist in the wild.
I am in the Seattle area and you can bet I am working on that big time.
I've got a Galapagos Island tomato that had some fruits that withstood many hard freezes last year, and still looked good enough to eat (excellent, even); the plant died long before the fruit (I harvested the fruit, eventually; so, it probably could have gone longer). I'm growing a plant from seeds of some the nicest of those fruits that were exposed to repeated hard freezes, too.
The plant I'm growing from it this year withstood freezes in my unheated greenhouse better than most other tomatoes (although my F3 Mexican Yellow cross, probably with Chapman, did the best, with more plants surviving; B.S.X and Chadwick's Cherry also did well).
Anyway, it's supposed to be Solanum cheesmaniae (the Galapagos Island tomato I mean). It's a very early, round (partially ovate), yellow/gold cherry. It has thin branches, lots of suckers, and is quite prolific. It seems to grow a much larger plant with black plastic (but it fruits well as a small plant, too; there's just not as much plant to set fruit when it's smaller). It's heat, cold, and drought tolerant, and very hardy. It can set fruit fine in tough soils.
I think a mishap last year helped me to select for a seed that germinates more easily, in more conditions. My seed-starting mix in 2019 was very poor, and germination was not ideal for anything but safflower, and maybe one other species, in it. I overseeded, and got only one Galapagos Island tomato seed to sprout (although it looked healthy). It hadn't ever volunteered before that point, but I got plenty of volunteers this spring. I'm excited to see how it handles the end of this season. I'm growing a plant from an earlier fruit of the plant that wasn't exposed to freezing temperatures to compare (this fruit had five locules, which is more than GI usually has).
I think my Kellogg's Beefsteak tomato got cross-pollinated with Galapagos Island in 2015 (I'm growing seeds I saved from KB in 2015 this year, and I'm starting to notice some similar traits). I'm pretty excited about that, if so (it might have been another cross, but GI was close to it), since it should be earlier and more prolific than KB, and tastier than GI. The trusses have a high percentage of fruit set, so far. the fruits are much smaller than Kellogg's Breakfast's fruit (even though Kellogg's Beefsteak set fruit some days prior).
I'm not sure if Kellogg's Beefsteak is the same as Kellogg's Breakfast; I was growing them both (as well as KBX) this year to compare, and to give Kellogg's Beefsteak better conditions (it was in poor soil last time).
I'm very impressed with that B.S.X. tomatoes' early fruit set (and how fast the fruit grows; it's not a cherry), so far. It's an F4 hybrid. The mother was Brandywine (Sudduth's Strain), and the father is suspected to be Black cherry (but I don't know). My plant is PL.
@tomwagner, if you want seeds from anything I've mentioned, feel free to let me know.
Domestic tomato originated in the lowlands near sea level along Peru's South American coast. It has very little cold tolerance. Solanum Habrochaites originated in the highlands of Peru and Ecuador at altitudes up to 3600 meters. It has significant genetic cold tolerance. Introgression lines were developed with domestic tomato by Tanksley and Monforte. LA3969 shows the most cold tolerance with a large habrochaites introgression from chromosome 12. Another cold tolerance locus is on chromosome 7.
Tomato, like most plants, transports nutrients up the stem and photosynthate downward. Rubisco is disabled by free radicles about 45 degrees and the plant goes into temperature induced shutdown. LA3969 does not go into stem shutdown at 45 degrees and recovers much faster from very low temps.
Earlinorth tomato has the ft gene which enables fruit set at 40 degrees F. I've got some breeding material that combines LA3969 with Earlinorth. Sub Arctic Plenty is a commercially available tomato with exceptional cold tolerance. I also have Tastiheart which has survived temps as low as 22 degrees. Note that surviving 22 degrees pretty much means the plant lived, but it was a mess for about 3 weeks until settled warm temperatures got it back to growing.