wi_northernlight

Hybrid Vigor in Tomatoes

wi-northernlight
October 27, 2007

I recently read an article that stated that hybrid tomatoes

"won't be any more vigorous than any other tomato, because tomatoes don't display hybrid vigour".

I've read other articles that indicate that they do. Some even say the main advantage of hybrids is the vigor attained because of the cross.

What's the truth?

Bob

Comments (69)

  • wi-northernlight

    Pennyrile,

    Thanks for your comments. Wow, a 67% increase in yield is quite significant. If this were the norm, it would be worthwhile to create hybrids of my favorite open pollinated heirlooms simply for the increased yield, assuming of course that taste and other factors could also be maintained.

    Feasibly, once I identified suitable crosses, and if I grew enough hybrid seed for 5 years worth of planting, I would only have to grow the parent plants every 5 years. I could then plant less plants of my new hybrid and get the same yield. Doesnt sound like much work in exchange for increased yields, or am I missing something?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Bob

  • shelbyguy

    While I cannot say much about hybrid vigor, in my limited growing experience the varieties I've grow have not exhibited competitive vigor

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  • mule

    I can attest for hybrid vigor with flavor as well.

    I have used lines to improve flavor of vintage cultivars.

    One such example is "Sweet Quartz" to the vintage line "Stupice polini". What I see here is a midparent heterosis (meaning that the hybrid is better than the worst parent but not necessarily better than the best parent). The brix readings also showed a difference though I didnt not do a statisical measure to see if it was a meaningful difference. Backcrossing the 'Sweet Quartz' parent into a selection should also improve my chances for a better flavored 'Stupice'. Since flavor is a quantitative thing (more than one gene), backingcrossing should help to fix more genes into a desirable line.

    Hybrids can and should be made for other reasons besides just disease. Apparently the Japanese have made this a goal - just look at lines like 'Sun Gold', 'Momotato' and 'Orodiki' (sp?).

    Inbreeding depression is seperate matter and I dont know why it keeps being brought up. I know of deterrimentals but I dont know of specific cases of inbreeding depression in tomato.

    Apparently someone has changed their tune from several years ago when they repeatedly insisted hybrid vigor doesnt exist with tomato.

    The term "vintage line" I found used in a scientific paper dating back to the late 1950's referring to developed lines such as Stupice that had been around awhile. This term predates anythign used by SSE

  • carolyn137

    Apparently someone has changed their tune from several years ago when they repeatedly insisted hybrid vigor doesnt exist with tomato.

    *****

    I don't know who the someone is you're referring to, probably me as is your wont, LOL, but I did grow out some F1 seeds that Tad Smith had produced as well as the two parents the F1 was constructed from, and they didn't look all that different to me.

    And growing out the F1 when there are but two known parents and comparing them seems to me to be the best way to go in terms of assessment.

    Over the years I think you've convinced me that F1 vigor does exist. But in Googling I find that not all hybrids show the same degree of vigor as grown by different folks in different parts of the country and with all the variables involved that makes sense to me.

    ******
    The term "vintage line" I found used in a scientific paper dating back to the late 1950's referring to developed lines such as Stupice that had been around awhile. This term predates anythign used by SSE

    ***

    SSE didn't coin any new terms including the word heirloom. I once knew from where/whom they got that word from, but it's not with me brain right now.

    And I'm not familar with the term vintage line, especially in regard to Stupice, of which there are four strains as you know, and all bred for commercial use either in a glasshouse or field, depending on the strain.

    Carolyn

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

    Whoa, I have no idea what alot of this means. How about a simple answer to this?

    Why would hybrid vigor be wanted? My non-hybrids grow out of their cages and take over everything. I'm not sure greater growth would be a plus. Would hybrid vigor give earlier ripening or some other benefits?

  • pennyrile

    ++How about a simple answer to this? Why would hybrid vigor be wanted? Would hybrid vigor give earlier ripening or some other benefits?++

    An example of why we would want hybrid vigor in tomatoes is published by Udin and Petrescu who report several benefits of hybrid vigor in their four test crosses including:

    "Maximum effect of heterosis calculated in comparison with the better parent was 22.6% for leaf length" (more leaf surface for increased photosynthesis, sugar production, and fruit shade),

    "5.6% for number of inflorescences per plant" (more flowers = more fruiting potential),

    "9.2% for number of fruit per plant" (even higher percentage of fruit production than percentage of flower increase),

    "16.5% for fruit weight" (heavier tomatoes),

    "and 67.2% for yield per plant" (obvious improvement in the ultimate goal for growing tomatoes - production).

  • carolyn137

    "and 67.2% for yield per plant" (obvious improvement in the ultimate goal for growing tomatoes - production).

    *****

    Could you explain this one a bit more since numbers were already given for fruit weight and numbers of fruits/plant and those numbers were considerably lower.

    As for the other increases, I find them to be minimal, at best.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that if overall yield is what's most important to justify F1's then I can see the advantage for the large scale commercial farmer. And it also confirms what Jim Waltrip at Petoseed once told me, and that's that about 95% of seed production is for F1 hybrids for those same large scale farmers.

    As for me, I grow tomatoes primarily for taste, and I think many others do as well, which is seen in the many lists of growouts that I've read here at GW and elsewhere where I post for many years now. Most folks grow a few favorite hybrids but the largest majority of folks I know started out growing hybrids and then switched to mainly OP's which offer a much greater variety as regards taste, fruit shapes, colors and more.

    What I find far more interesting is the situation where individuals are doing their own breeding with OP's, such as yourself. But then the problem might be producing enough F1 seed to go around to meet demand.

    Let's say that the varieties Autumn Splendor ( AS) and Spring Crocus (SC) are crossed to get an unnamed F1 hybrid . I'd like to see someone record all the measurements indicated in your above post for AS, SC and the unnamed hybrid. And not done just in one geographic area, but in several different areas over a several year period of time.

    I'm always wary when data is collected from a one shot experiment in one place for one season.

    As I also said above, for me heterosis is a fact, but for each individual grower who has his or her own ideas about what tastes great, heterosis is just not that important in my opinion, at least for me it isn't. The mileage of others may vary, to use a now trite phrase. ( smile)

    Carolyn, who fervently wishes she wasn't confined to this #&^%$# walker and could get out there and do some of this experimentation herself, but she can't. Penta Sigh.

  • reginald_317

    Could you explain this one a bit more since numbers were already given for fruit weight and numbers of fruits/plant and those numbers were considerably lower...

    Rite,

    The "6" in the "67.2%" should be a "2". (1.092 * 1.165 = 1.272 or a increase in "yield" of 27.2%). At least that is how I interpret the values, assuming that "yield" is defined as the total weight of usable fruit per plant.

    Reg

  • pennyrile

    Reg,

    As I'm taking the information directly from the Report of the Tomato Genetics Center, I can only assume it could either be a typographical error, or possibly their determination of increased yield per plant at 67.2% is based on finished fruit harvested from the plant in marketable condition, undeteriorated condition, or whatever criterion they set for measurable yield.

    Here verbatim is the summary of the report available on line. Anyone interested in their methodology, protocol, quality of editing, etc. may contact J. W. Scott, Ph.D.
    GCREC, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598, Phone:(813)633-4135.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Udin, A. S. and C. Petrescu

    Morphological characters of tomato.

    An experiment was carried out to study the variability and heritability of some morphological characters of tomato such as length of leaf and internode, plant height, number of inflorescences and fruits per plant, fruit weight, yield per plant and number of locules per fruit. The experiment conducted with 4 parents, 4 F1 hybrids, 4 F2 hybrids, 4 BC1 and 4 BC2 in the period of 19811982 revealed a series of conclusions which are as follows:

    1. Hybridization remains the basic method of breeding for increasing the genetic variability in tomato.

    2. The mean values of all quantitative characters showed the genetical differences of parents taken in the study.

    3. The mean values of F1 hybrids for all characters were found to be higher than those of their parents suggesting over dominance.

    4. The extent of variability was smaller in F1 populations than both parental and segregated populations for all the characters except the number of locules per fruit.

    5. The coefficient of variation was found to be highest for yield per plant and smallest for leaf length both in parental and hybrid populations.

    6. From the analysis of variance of the effect of gene action it was ascertained that the effect of additivity and dominancy appeared significant for all the characters.

    7. The coefficient of heritability was found to be high for length of leaf and internode, plant height, number of inflorescences and fruits per plant and number of locules per fruit and small for fruit weight (0.230.35) and yield per plant (0.240.38).

    8. The analysis of phenotypic correlations emphasizes the importance of leaf length, plant height, number of inflorescences and fruits per plant and fruit weight in selection for yield.

    9. All hybrid combinations manifested positive heterosis in comparison with the better parent for all characters except the number of locules where all the hybrid combinations showed negative heterosis.

    10. Maximum effect of heterosjs calculated in comparison with the better parent was 22.6% for leaf length, 1.9% for internode length, 6.9% for plant height, 5.6% for number of inflorescences per plant, 9.2% for number of fruit per plant, 16.5% for fruit weight and 67.2% for yield per plant.

  • mule

    Ill have more later answering naturegirl's question

    DONT BOTHER DR SCOTT with something so trivial.

    You cannot compare those results in that way. You would have to have the raw data. I dont know a simple analogy offhand to help someone understand that but the percentages for weight gain and number of fruit can't be compared that way.

    There is no misprint/typing error. I have hard copy of these reports and 67% is what it says. It is also online in pdf format for those who would like to see it.

  • reginald_317

    You cannot compare those results in that way. You would have to have the raw data...

    [ (number harvestable fruit)/plant ] * [ (average weight)/(harvestable fruit) ] = weight/plant (or yield/plant)

    How can it be otherwise ? For example, if one gets 10 fruits from a plant and the average wt. of the fruits is 1 pound, there has to be a total of 10 pounds of total fruit distributed amongst the 10 individuals. Don't matter if there is a single 5# fruit and nine 8.9 oz fruits. What am I missing here ?

    Reg

  • fusion_power

    Read between the lines. They selected the data to demonstrate the maximum heterosis effect. Meaning that this was the two parents that gave the most benefit for their hybrid offspring as compared to the better parent. This is NOT average effect across a broad range of hybrids. Quit trying to compare apples with oranges.... or is it tomatoes with green beans?

    What this means is that if two parents are highly selected for total production and those two parents are then crossed, the resulting hybrid effects will probably be less percentage wise than the results in that study.

    I did some data analysis and figured that the average heterosis effect for yield (calculated as pounds of fruit per plant) was an increase of about 34 percent. Is that significant? You betcha. Is it as significant as 67%? No way. Would the results be repeatable? Nope, you would have to start with the same crosses they did to get similar results.

    The key to this is that tomatoes can be selected for yield improvement and commercial tomato growers want more yield because that is how they make money. Unfortunately, most of the commercial hybrids available today have lost out big time in the flavor arena in the tradeoff for more yield vs better flavor.

    What about crossing two of the better producing heirloom varieties? Lets say we cross Cherokee Purple with Red Brandywine. The resulting hybrid plant could be more productive than either parent. Then again, it could exhibit negative effects so that yield was similar to the parents or even less than the parents. This depends entirely on combining ability. The objective with any crossing program is to find parents that combine in a positive way for the characters being selected.

    Fusion

  • mule

    Reg

    I understand how you're looking at it.

    They are comparing the mean overall effect of all the hybrids against the mean overall of the parent lines and we dont have enough info to do that.

    I am probably not getting this exactly right but here goes;

    I dont know how many hybrids they grew out of each but lets say 4

    so youre looking at total yield of Hybrid1 (h1) rep'd 4 times
    h1-1,h1-2,h1-3,h1-4 to get mean value for that hybrid
    and repeat that for the 3 other hybrids means
    h2-1,h2-2,h2-3,h2-4
    h3-1,.....
    h4-1......

    Then do that same for the parents (8) means
    p1-1,p-2,p1-3,p1-2
    p2-1,....
    p3....
    p4....
    p5....
    p6....
    p7....
    p8....

    and then compare those mean values against each other for an overall value expressed as a percentage

    So you have to first determine the mean yield for each treatment (parent line and hybrid lines) and then apply that overall against hybrids vs parents.

  • mule

    Why would hybrid vigor be wanted?

    Improvement over one or other traits.

    Would hybrid vigor give earlier ripening or some other benefits?

    Yes, earliness is one of the traits often used in hybrid programs. The article above, albeit confusing for some, found that in his example.

    I might add no one really knows exactly why hybrid vigour/heterosis exists.

    I find nothing wrong with people saving seed and using non-hybrids. Just I don't think many are that great for flavor or other traits.

    Another benefit to making hybrids is that it can increase the overall genetic diversity assuming you dont bottleneck parents such has been done in commercial breeding.

    Commerically seed companies look for wide adaptation so often time hybrids will perform better over more areas.

    Flavor has not been a #1 goal but is being worked on and there are examples of it becoming better.

    I would note that of the 1200 or whatever lines Carolyn claims to have at least looked at at least once - she still only refers to a handful. Just based on the book, which she herself said not all were that great to her, that's only about 8% that stand out to her that she has tried.

    My expereince is that heirlooms are very variable in performance. Some seem to be real turkeys that were probably saved more for sentimental reasons then actually really being that much better.

    But there is reason to save them because they may have future potential - in crosses to develop new lines and to try to maintain more diversity.

    Even the heirlooms have their bottlenecks.

    The most diversity comes from the wild species.

  • reginald_317

    Read between the lines. They selected the data to demonstrate the maximum heterosis effect...

    Publishing the hi data points amongst (now many ?) different F1's (compared to its max parent) is interesting but is not of much practical use IMO. But I presume the report presents the data from many other perspectives.

    Reg

  • carolyn137

    I would note that of the 1200 or whatever lines Carolyn claims to have at least looked at at least once - she still only refers to a handful. Just based on the book, which she herself said not all were that great to her, that's only about 8% that stand out to her that she has tried.

    ****

    Mule, almost, but not quite. ( smile)

    At the time I had to choose which varieties I was going to put in the book it was around 1200 varieties that I'd grown, and now it's around 2000.

    here's what I said, starting on page ix of the book:

    "My criteria were based ( criteria for selecting what I did, CJM) primarily, but not exclusively, on taste. Some varieties were chosen for their populatiry; others because they represent a certain class, fruit shape or wild coloration. But all are distinctive and worth trying in your garden."

    In addition, I was limited to 100 varieties per the subcontract of Smith and Hawkem to Workman Press b'c each book in the series had to have the same number of pages and each book in the series had to present 100 of something, whether it was roses or orchids or whatever..

    Were there more of those 1200 that I thought were great tasting? For sure, but I thought it was important to include some commercial ones, some fuzzy fruited ones, etc., just to show the range of possibilities.

    And of those varieties grown between the 1200 I grew by 1998 and the now total of around 2000, are there some different ones I'd select in terms of super tasting ones? Absolutely. But that's in the past and there will be no more books by me.

    So it's not just the 8% you mentioned that I'd grown that I thought tasted great since my comments above indicate the limitations I had in presenting what I did present in that book.

    Carolyn

  • HoosierCheroKee

    Okay ... this thread started out discussing hybrid vigor and its benefits, but has now devolved into how many tomato varieties someone has grown and what percentage of those taste good. Pffffffffft.

    The following figures are from 2004, but are representative of current U.S. tomato production:

    12 million tons of processing tomatoes

    2 million tons of fresh market tomatoes

    126,400 acres fresh market tomatoes harvested

    That's about 300 cwt per acre production today compared to about 120 cwt per acre back in 1960 ... due to development and adoption of higher yielding varieties and drip irrigation, among other improvements.

    If home gardeners and "heirloom" aficianados chose to grow their tomatoes for taste alone, fine. The fact remains, exploitation of hybrid vigor in tomatoes is essential to development of productive, disease resistant hybrid cultivars to meet the demands of the markets ... for both fresh market and processing tomatoes.

    Now if someone knows of open pollinated vintage varieties that possess the vigor, disease resistance and other specifications to meet the current market demand, let's hear about it.

    Source of tomato stats: UCDavis Commodity Profile

  • reginald_317

    Now if someone knows of open pollinated vintage varieties that possess the vigor, disease resistance and other specifications to meet the current market demand, let's hear about it.

    Okay ... this thread started out discussing hybrid vigor and its benefits, but has now devolved into how many tomato varieties someone has grown and what percentage of those taste good....

    Not really in my view. First part of your argument is true, second is not. Taste and vigor are not necessarily related.

    I have had a lot of hybrid keel over and drop just like some OP's. However I think that hybrid tom plants are more predictable in their habit as opposed to OP tom plants.

    Reg

  • wi-northernlight

    Well, actually I started this thread to learn .... and learn I have.

    As I have become more serious about my tomato gardening hobby, one of my perhaps rather unique goals has become increasing production with the least amount of space and growing season without sacrificing taste and texture. In that light, I am very curious about the possibility of using hybrid-vigor to help reach those goals, using great tasting OP's and keeping taste as a #1 priority, unlike many commercial hybrid producers.

    This may seem foolhardy to many gardens, especially those in longer season zones or those with lots of garden space. However, I would like to produce enough tomatoes to feed my children, grandchildren, and at least some of my 60+ nieces and nephews. If by taking advantage of heterosis (new term for me - thanks) to produce with 50 plants what might otherwise take 60-80 plants, then perhaps the effort of producing my own hybrid seed might be worthwhile, not to mention fun and interesting.

    I used to think hybridizing was unnatural and that tomatoes must be open pollinated to be natural. I now realize that it is hybrids developed for commercial characterisitcs in preference to taste that is truly unnatural. I now realize that hybridizing, like grafting and pruning is part of the horticultural knowledge that was given to man from the very beginning. After all, Adam's job was to tend the garden, wasn't it. And if any one us had opportunity to walk with God every evening in the cool of our gardens, I bet we could learn even more than we can learn on this forum.

    In that light I questioned the accuracy of the article I read claiming that "tomatoes don't display hybrid-vigor". I knew that many of you had the answer to my question. That's what started this thread. I have learned much from these responses, including that this topic apparently is, or has been, much debated. I appreciate the graciousness and constraint shown by all members in responding to my query.

    MULE, I am curious about what you call "mid-parent" heterosis. It seems in my thinking as though mid-parent results would indicate that heterosis was NOT present and heterosis should display characteristics beyond those of the best parent in order to be called heterosis? Please enlighten me.

    I am also still curious about INBREEDING DEPRESSION in tomatoes. I don't want to start a debate, but I would really like to know the truth.

    MULE, you don't seem to acknowledge INBREEDING DEPRESSION. I am not challenging your expertise when I ask, how can this be? If heterosis is a fact, it seems that inbreeding depression must also be. Otherwise, it seems that heterosis unchecked would have resulted in tomatoes the size of Volkswagens by now and we'd all think we were in the Promised Land. Please explain you're thinking on a level that I can comprehend, if possible.

    Also, SOME of you have DEHYBRIDIZED hybrids. Certainly, you must have witnessed the presence or absence of inbreeding depression. I would certainly covet any information regarding your observations. (Opinions also earnestly desired.) : )

    FINALLY, I would enjoy hearing some additional suggestions for POSSIBLE CROSSES of OP's that might produce great tasting F1 hybrids with the possibilities of good production.

    Thanks to all.

    Bob
    wi-northernlight

  • fusion_power

    To understand inbreeding depression, first you must understand the natural reproduction strategy of the species. Corn for example is a classic example of an outbreeder. By choice, it crosspollinates as often as possible. A fertilized corn cell is more likely to have different alleles at a given location on each chromosome. When it self pollinates, any deleterious alleles can show maximum effect. What it means is that corn can't take inbreeding without serious effects on survivability. The great advantage of outbreeders is their ability to handle environmental change much better than inbreeders. The level of variation in outbreeders will be very high.

    Tomatoes on the other hand are natural inbreeders. Their normal reproductive strategy is to self pollinate which means tomato chromosomes have to be able to handle being identical. This strategy is highly effective at conserving successful traits. It is very weak at handling any new conditions. The important concept here is that the level of variation will be very low as compared to an outbreeder.

    The net effect of the inbreeder's strategy is that survival traits tend to accumulate at a rapid rate. The lower level of variation in genetics means that hybrid vigor will not normally give extreme results such as is commonly achieved with outbreeders. Inbreeding depression will also be moderately expressed because of the tomato's natural state as an inbreeder. Expressing this in more familiar terms, heterosis and inbreeding depression in an outbreeder is like the height of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain on earth. But in an outbreeder, it would be compared to a rolling foothill.

    Enough for tonight.

    Read and study and learn. Genetics is fun.

    Fusion

  • carolyn137

    Now if someone knows of open pollinated vintage varieties that possess the vigor, disease resistance and other specifications to meet the current market demand, let's hear about it.

    ******

    I don't think that line of enquiry is really germane to the subject at hand, at least in my opinion, b'c it then begs the question what market, large scale commercial or the ever increasing market for OP varieties as evidenced at so called Farmer's Markets and/or the distribution of OP varieties at store chains in the US and elsewhere. Probably best dealt with with another thread if someone here has that particular interest, but it does stray from the topic of hybrid vigor.

    (Okay ... this thread started out discussing hybrid vigor and its benefits, but has now devolved into how many tomato varieties someone has grown and what percentage of those taste good....)

    Reg responded:
    Not really in my view. First part of your argument is true, second is not. Taste and vigor are not necessarily related.

    ******

    And I agree.

    Mule suggested that only a small percentage of varieties I'd grown tasted great based on the number featured in my book. I responded that that was not true and explained what my constraints were in having to deal with the 100 that were required by the subcontracter, Smith and Hawken, and the publisher, Workman Press.

    If there's more to say about hybrids then I'll read it but the issue that Mule introduced re there only being 8% of the varieties I'd grown that tasted good has been dealt with and refuted based on what I wrote in my post above.

    Now let's get back to a discussion of hybrid vigor, if there's more to say, for those who are particularly interested in that subject.

    Carolyn

  • wi-northernlight

    Well, actually I started this thread to learn .... and learn I have.

    As I have become more serious about my tomato gardening hobby, one of my perhaps rather unique goals has become increasing production with the least amount of space and growing season without sacrificing taste and texture. In that light, I am very curious about the possibility of using hybrid-vigor to help reach those goals, using great tasting OP's and keeping taste as a #1 priority, unlike many commercial hybrid producers.

    This may seem foolhardy to many gardens, especially those in longer season zones or those with lots of garden space. However, I would like to produce enough tomatoes to feed my children, grandchildren, and at least some of my 60+ nieces and nephews. If by taking advantage of heterosis (new term for me - thanks) to produce with 50 plants what might otherwise take 60-80 plants, then perhaps the effort of producing my own hybrid seed might be worthwhile, not to mention fun and interesting.

    I used to think hybridizing was unnatural and that tomatoes must be open pollinated to be natural. I now realize that it is hybrids developed for commercial characterisitcs in preference to taste that is truly unnatural. I now realize that hybridizing, like grafting and pruning is part of the horticultural knowledge that was given to man from the very beginning. After all, Adam's job was to tend the garden, wasn't it. And if any one us had opportunity to walk with God every evening in the cool of our gardens, I bet we could learn even more than we can learn on this forum.

    In that light I questioned the accuracy of the article I read claiming that "tomatoes don't display hybrid-vigor". I knew that many of you had the answer to my question. That's what started this thread. I have learned much from these responses, including that this topic apparently is, or has been, much debated. I appreciate the graciousness and constraint shown by all members in responding to my query.

    MULE, I am curious about what you call "mid-parent" heterosis. It seems in my thinking as though mid-parent results would indicate that heterosis was NOT present and heterosis should display characteristics beyond those of the best parent in order to be called heterosis? Please enlighten me.

    I am also still curious about INBREEDING DEPRESSION in tomatoes. I don't want to start a debate, but I would really like to know the truth.

    FUSION, thanks for the overview of inbreeding depression. It seems to me you're indicating that heterosis and inbreeding depression go hand-in-hand? balancing each other off in various species and varieties? That makes sense to me.

    MULE, you don't seem to acknowledge INBREEDING DEPRESSION. I am not challenging your expertise when I ask, how can this be? If heterosis is a fact, it seems that inbreeding depression must also be. Otherwise, it seems that heterosis unchecked would have resulted in tomatoes the size of Volkswagens by now and we'd all think we were in the Promised Land. Please explain you're thinking on a level that I can comprehend, if possible.


    Also, SOME of you have DEHYBRIDIZED hybrids. Certainly, you must have witnessed the presence or absence of inbreeding depression. I would certainly covet any information regarding your observations. (Opinions also earnestly desired.) : )


    FINALLY, I would enjoy hearing some additional suggestions for POSSIBLE CROSSES of OP's that might produce great tasting F1 hybrids with the possibilities of good production.


    Thanks to all.

    Bob
    wi-northernlight

  • mule

    A simple quick explaination of mid parent heterosis (from memory) would be.

    When the avg outcome of the hybrid is midway between the avg values from the two contributing parents (ie the hybrid is greater than one parent but not the other).

    Say that the value of the F1 for some trait is "3"

    Parent A is "2" and Parents B is "4". The hybrid is midway between the two.

    Why is this benefical if not greater than both? It may be the case of disease resistance where adding even one gene (hybrid's pair now in a heterozygous state Aa) from a dominate disease trait incorporates some disease resistance value into the other traits of the lower valued parent (like adding Fusarium resistance into a better tasting line without it). It's quick and easy.

    ---

    I checked around and dont find a specific case of inbreeding depression being noted in tomato.

    There are cases where the presence of a homozygous gene(both gene pairs the same - AA or aa ) at a give site is lethal in tomato (either it doesnt germinate or fails to thrive). However the ones I can think of are induced mutations (Xray/chemical) and they must be maintained in a heterzygous state - Aa. There may be others. The Rick Seed repository has several of these. They don't exactly fit my understanding of inbreeding depression which has to do with naturally occuring incidences and usually several deleterious homozygous gene pairs.

    Does that help?

  • reginald_317

    A simple quick explaination of mid parent heterosis (from memory) would be.
    When the avg outcome of the hybrid is midway between the avg values from the two contributing parents (ie the hybrid is greater than one parent but not the other).

    Say that the value of the F1 for some trait is "3".

    Parent A is "2" and Parents B is "4". The hybrid is midway between the two...

    Not my understanding of mid-parent heterosis. In above example mid-parent heterosis would be defined as a value that exceeds the average "value" of its parents for that trait, i.e., >3.0 in above example.

    Reg

  • larryw

    I don't know if anyone has made the following point as I have not thoroughly reviewed all posts. I'm afraid I have not taken the question or concepts proposed very seriously. the reason I do this is because I have read on many occasions that tomatoes originated in south or central america, perhaps a limited number of 6 or so original strains have been identified, and these are rarely grown today. What we do grow today are the unmanaged or managed crosses, from a bezillion primarily random early crosses, perhaps followed by some selective crossing in more recent times to accent or install perceived favorable characteristics to the plant or fruit.

    How do the concepts of random cross and hybridizing differ?
    Biologically, the only difference is that one is preceeded with selective intent! The consequences, however, are not always entirely predictable nor does selective intent always outclass mother nature who mostly goes with random cross followed with selection through survival over future years.

    What I'm saying is that it seems to me most all the tomatoes we grow in our gardens could be considered as hybrids, those
    we call heirlooms as well as todays super duper expensawhopper. It's just a matter of when the crossing occured and how favorable the result turned out to be!

  • yumamelon

    This has certainly been a very intersting post. I have my thoughts on hybrid vigor for strong inbreeders as well. I think that people are ignoring hetrosis for all traits other than agronomic triats. This is certainly not the case.

    This might be a question for another topic, but I will ask anyway. Why do gardeners feel that these huge, world wide seed companies are breeding for garden markets? When I am making selections I never think in the back of my mind that I am looking for products to send into our home garden sales department. It just doesn't happen. It is true that some of the strictly garden suppliers have breeding programs, but this is more of the exception and not the rule.

    Anyway, keep it up. This is a good website.
    Yuma

  • HoosierCheroKee

    "Why do gardeners feel that these huge, world wide seed companies are breeding for garden markets? When I am making selections I never think in the back of my mind that I am looking for products to send into our home garden sales department. It just doesn't happen." [Yuma]

    Your comment is right to the point of this discussion ... that there is heterosis in tomatoes and that tomato breeders are selecting for pure breeding lines that when crossed express hybrid vigor in particular traits ... and yes, that in almost every case the breeders are looking for products for the commercial market, not the home garden.

    Big time tomato breeding largely intends to meet the global demand for food in the global market, not niche markets or hobby gardens. Thankfully, some of the tomato cultivars that result from research and development at the universities and private firms make for interesting home garden types ... but then many seem to disappear from catalogs after a brief run.

    Yuma, I think we've participated in a similar discussion of the benefits of hybrid fruits and vegetable breeding at another garden forum. And if you're the same person who works for Seminis, I agree with your point of view regarding the benefits of hybrid development.

  • carolyn137

    Jim Waltrip at Petoseed once told me that 95% of all tomato seed produced was F1 hybrid seed and that was for the huge world commercial tomato industry.

    *****

    Pertinent to Yuma's and Hoosier's comments I just wanted to note that I made the above comment earlier in in this thread which I think to most folks should be the take home lesson as to where breeding efforts are directed.

    Carolyn

  • wi-northernlight

    Yuma, Hoosier, and Carolyn all make good points regarding F1 hybrids for commercial purposes. But F1 hybrid production does not need to be limited to commercial growers who use heterosis for commercial reasons. I'd like to explore using hybrid-vigor for better reasons that are more pertinent to the home growers, especially the short-season growers.

    That's what this thread is about. Look at my post above. I started this thread to determine whether hybrid vigor, heterosis, was real and if it might be of benefit to us home gardeners, not commercial. This thread is to explore the possibilities of home gardeners reaping some benefits from creating and maintaining their own F1 hybrid crosses. The question is about whether HOME GARDENER'S can benefit to any reasonable degree by creating hybrids that have best-parent heterosis in the characteristics of earliness, size, production, and most importantly taste.

    I already see that one of the possible down sides to growing our own hybrids is that it may become a two year process, growing parent plants to produce hybrid seed the first year and growing the hybrids the second year. We accept those time schedules for garlic and some onions. Why not for super home-hybrid tomatoes that might produce 2-pound Brandywine flavor in 45 days.

    OK that may be a bit optimisitc, : ) but the question that remains unanswered is IF and WHICH tomatoes might give us enough heterosis benefit in the desirable, non-commercial traits to justify the extra two-step growing process.

    All thoughts, opinions, or shared experiences appreciated.

    Bob

  • HoosierCheroKee

    I would think the practical drawback of producing hybrid seed for home continuous annual plantings would be maintaining the parent breeding lines since one would have to have sufficient space to grow, select, develop and maintain the parent lines in order to get consistent hybrids over a long term. Additionally, one would need to keep detailed records year after year along with exacting specifications as to the traits and conformance to traits by which the parent lines were selected and maintained.

    Otherwise, the seed produced by simply crossing two randomly selected parents, one each from two named cultivar each year, might not produce identical results in subsequent batches of F1 seed even though the same two cultivars are used as parents each subsequent year.

    Be that as it may, it is fun to have such a hobby and I intend to continue crossing tomato varieties and discovering what the F1 plants turn out to be. This year the Brandywine x Neves Azorean Red was a real winner, but a good example of what I'm talking about since the Brandywine was from seed sold by a commercial seed vendor and thereby I am dependent upon the vendor's seed quality for a repeat in subsequent years. Another F1 I'm looking forward to growing next year is Cherokee Purple x Bradley ... another example of what I'm talking about since both parent plants were bought as transplants from nurseries who bought them from contract growers.

    So in both my cases, the only guarantee of consistency in the F1s will be from the seed produced in those two single crosses ... and any subsequent crosses may or may not produce absolutely identical F1 results, even though I saved seed from the four separate parent plants. Chances are good, but not necessarily guaranteed since I do not keep exacting specification records. Fun hobby though.

  • reginald_317

    I would think the practical drawback of producing hybrid seed for home continuous annual plantings would be maintaining the parent breeding lines since one would have to have sufficient space to grow, select, develop and maintain the parent lines in order to get consistent hybrids over a long term. Additionally, one would need to keep detailed records year after year along with exacting specifications as to the traits and conformance to traits by which the parent lines were selected and maintained...

    Why re-invent the wheel ? Just continue to perpetuate plants (via cuttings, etc.) of the F1 hybrid upon which seeds will be harvested. Much easier and reliable than doing another cross to make another identical F1 hybrid.

    Reg

  • HoosierCheroKee

    "Why re-invent the wheel? Just continue to perpetuate plants (via cuttings, etc.) of the F1 hybrid upon which seeds will be harvested. Much easier and reliable than doing another cross to make another identical F1 hybrid." [Reg]

    Well, because I don't have a greenhouse or other suitable facilities for holding plants from cuttings in continuous healthy growing condition from November 1 to May 1. And I don't see what "F1 hybrid upon which seeds will be harvested" has to do with it at all.

  • yumamelon

    Hello Hoosier,
    You are correct. I didn't like that forum as much as this one. Anyway.

    Hello Carolyn,
    I don't think your point came across as it should have. Rather, not everyone got it. You must have spoke with Jim some time ago (he left before i started). I would think the percentage is now higher for commercial breeding vs. garden.

    Yuma

  • pennyrile

    Yuma,

    I'm glad to see you here. You will add some balance and some keen insight into tomatoes and tomato breeding from an experienced and professional viewpoint.

    BTW, are you active in other GW forums ... as I know you also are involved in breeding other vegetables besides tomatoes in your regular job. I look forward to reading your messages.

  • yumamelon

    Hello Pennyrile,
    Thank you. I would like to note that my experience in Tomato is VERY limited. I am most experienced in Cucurbit species.

    Yuma

  • carolyn137

    Hello Carolyn,
    I don't think your point came across as it should have. Rather, not everyone got it. You must have spoke with Jim some time ago (he left before i started). I would think the percentage is now higher for commercial breeding vs. garden

    ******

    No, I don't think everyone saw it and internalized it. ( smile)

    And yes, it was several years ago that I had several excellent talks with Jim about a variety of issues. I remember one was the disappointment Petoseed had with the Husky series which he thought was due to the deep green rugose foliage, translate, sales were not as high as they had hoped for.

    I'm trying to remember if we last talked right before Seminis took over, but I just can't remember. Sigh.

    Carolyn

  • reginald_317

    Well, because I don't have a greenhouse or other suitable facilities for holding plants from cuttings in continuous healthy growing condition from November 1 to May 1. And I don't see what "F1 hybrid upon which seeds will be harvested" has to do with it at all...

    HC, I guess I mis-stated my argument. Should have been to perpetuate the plant of the cross that produces seed that becomes the desired F1 hybrid. If the parents of such a cross are homozygous cults which are readily and reliably replicated, not a problem to go back and cross again. However when the parents of the cross have some hetero traits (that are, for instance, instrumental in epistasis) of interest that had been developed over several generations, re-creation of the parents is like re-inventing the wheel. The seeds that were used in the final cross to produce the plant that produces F1 seed will not last forever. So when they are depleted or do not have sufficient viability to create enough crossed plants, the breeder must then go back to square one to re-create the parents.

    Reg

  • wi-northernlight

    So in both my cases, the only guarantee of consistency in the F1s will be from the seed produced in those two single crosses ... and any subsequent crosses may or may not produce absolutely identical F1 results, even though I saved seed from the four separate parent plants. Chances are good, but not necessarily guaranteed since I do not keep exacting specification records. Fun hobby though.

    *****

    Hoosier,

    I hadn't thought of this. What kind of differences or variations would you expect in the parent plants, and the resulting F1 seeds if the parents are stablized homozygous open pollinated varieties like Brandywine and Neve's Azorean?

    Bob

  • HoosierCheroKee

    Bob,

    Okay, let's take the Brandywine x Neves Azorean Red cross for an example. I only grew out one Brandywine plant (the seed mother) in 2006 from seed purchased from a commercial seed vendor even though I started about a dozen seedlings. I selected the strongest looking plant from the tray and it turned out to be a very good plant that yielded very well. While we can assume the other seedlings from the same batch carried the same gene pairs, and that future Brandywine seed from the same vendor might produce identical plants, can we really be 100% positive that another single plant I might select from a tray of seedlings will be truly identical in all respects to the single Brandywine plant I selected to grow in 2006?

    Truth is I doubt the vendor from whom I got the seeds even grows its own seed, but rather buys it from contract growers. And I'm sure not all "Brandywines" are created equal. So, I can only hope that the self-replicating seed I saved from the single Brandywine 2006 plant wasn't accidentally cross pollinated with either the Earl's Faux on one side of it or the Lucky Cross growing on the other side. If the BW were crossed with the EF, I'll bet no one could tell by simple observation.

    Furthermore, since I didn't keep exacting records, how can I prove a future Brandywine seed mother is identical to the 2006 seed mother? Likewise with the Neves Azorean Red pollen parent. I got the NAR seed in a seed trade from another amateur tomato grower. Can I be sure any NAR seed I might purchase or receive from another source carries the identical homozygous gene pairs? Can I even be sure that the seeds I saved from the original pollen parent will produce identical progeny?

    Now if I maintained blocks of NAR and Brandywine plants in isolation from each other and from other tomatoes, and if I systematically rogued out off-types and selected seed parents by exacting specifications regarding sought traits, then I could maintain two true breeding lines to cross for consistent F1 seed.

    As it is, all I really got was about 120 or so F1 seeds from that single successful BW x NAR-2006 and from them I grew one great F1 plant in my garden, gave several seedlings away to friends who liked the results, and sent out a few dozen F1 and F2 seeds to fellow amatuer tomato growers to see how they like the cross. At least one of the recipients has plans to grow out some F2s in 2008.

    Like I said, it's a great hobby, but at the level I'm involved, it sure isn't sophisticated to the point that I can guarantee consistency ... yet.

    Bill

  • wi-northernlight

    Thanks Bill,

    I think I see what you mean now.

    I was thinking to grow the parent plants from reputable growers like Sand Hill Preservation, TomatoFest or Johhny's seed. The first two, I know grow most of their own seed, and Johnny's is reliable. I was planning to use blossom bags on all blossoms, both those I crossed for the new F1 seeds as well as those I didn't for extra parent seed. I also hoped to get enough F1 seed to last for 3-5 years (about 100), so that the crossing would not need to be performed again for some time.

    I had also thought of the idea that was also mentioned here, of preserving the parent plants by cuttings and clonings over the winter.

    Having little experience in any of this I'm sure I'm missing something big. But if successful........

    ...... would there be an advantage to dehybridizing my crosses to perptuate them or would it be more beneficial to maintain the F1 hybrid plants in the hopes that hybrid vigor would have given me larger better plants than their dehybridized counterparts might provide?

    What is your feeling regarding your successful Brandywine/NAR cross? Is it worth dehybridizing or do you feel that dehybridizing may result in reduced vigor OP plants that would not be as good as your F1 plants?

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    Bob

  • HoosierCheroKee

    Bob,

    I wasn't aware the TomatFest grew all their own seed. While Sandhill may grow a lot of their own seed, I know for a fact they purchase pounds of tomato seed from contract growers. Johnny's I have no idea about, but assume they purchase seed for resale considering all the hybrids they sell. In any case, any time you purchase seed from a vendor there is the possibility of variability as has been seen recently in two of the vendors you mention. But that's no biggie considering the level at which you and I are involved in this amateur hobby.

    If you bag the blossoms on your parent plants to collect pure seed for future parents, you will collect 100% of the genes from the parent plant (barring any "spontaneous mutations" in the germplasm) for future seed parents and thereby get a very close replication of the F1 from the same original seed parents. My points above were only regarding establishing the best seed parent lines conforming to narrow specifications set for whatever a more professional breeder might be looking to create in the cross. Again, that is way above the level you and I are enjoying this hobby.

    I don't plan on bagging the emasculated blossoms on the seed bearing plant because I plan on emasculating green flowers two or three days prior to pollen shed and applying pollen two or three times, hopefully getting the job 100% done without help from Mother Nature and her agents.

    Also, I'm not gonna propagate from season to season with cuttings, again because I don't have the facilities to hold plants from November to May, and for other reasons I won't go into right now, but propagaion by cuttings is less desirable for me than growing from seed.

    Yes, there are very good reasons to grow out your original crosses through several generations and select out segregations you find interesting and collectible for one reason or another. That is fun stuff and what most of the folks in these forums would be interested in more than the original hybrid anyway. In fact, that is the intent of a few of the people to whom I sent F1 and F2 seed from BW x NAR, and that is what many of the members of this forum and other tomato forums are doing with dwarf crosses and various other custom crosses made by several members of these forums. But that wasn't the topic of this discussion ... rather hybrid vigor was ... and you can get into long threads about growing out segregations of hand crosses here and elsewhere.

    But with regard to your questions just above, yes I think growing out the BW x NAR is worth doing if just to find a good potato leaf segregation with a red fruit that taste similar to NAR and hopefully has that strong, compact NAR plant structure. Yes, I would expect some loss of hybrid vigor, but probably not that will make much difference, and not that I will notice since I'm not keeping detailed records to that extent and am 60 years old with a heart condition anyway.

    Bill

  • wi-northernlight

    Bill,

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    I find them quite helpful.

    I am way less than 60 years old, practically a kid. But even at a 53 years old : ) I found a way to make gardening less strenuous this year. I moved my garden into pots. I use 7 gallon containers, mostly self-watering. It raised the soil surface about 16" to minimize stooping over, it all but eliminated weeding, and seemed to give superior production (partly due to earlier higher soil temperatures).


    Just for your info:

    Here's an excerpt from Tomatofest's web site:

    Our heirloom tomato seed selection of over 500 varieties... ............. We harvest each piece of fruit by hand, ourselves, and maintain notes of each variety plant characteristics and fruit taste...all to assure you the best quality, true-to-type tomato seed varieties.

    Here's from Sandhill Preservation:

    We grow over 90% of the varieties listed here. These are grown on our farm, either through controlled hand pollinations or by isolations.

    Hope I have been half as much help as you have been to me.

    Bob

  • wi-northernlight

    Bill,
    How did you like your Brandywine/NAR cross. It sounds like a great pair to cross. If your result was goods I am thinking maybe I would try it too. But I DO like to keep exacting records on some things and I think I would.

    I'd take what I have learned from you and start with NAR seed from Tomatofest, which should be true, and Brandywine Sudduth from Johnny's which I believe they watch very closely to make sure it is true. I'd use blossom bags as mentioned in my previous post and keep close records on blossom and fruit dates and fruit sizes, weights and numbers.

    Then I'd try dehybridizing it keeping track of all this same data and grow the F1 seed simultaneously. Then I'd see whether hybrid-vigour contributed substantially to production characteristics.

    My thinking is that if hybrid-vigor was such that the F1 produced substantially more or earlier, then it might be worth maintaining the F1 seed by recrossing the parents. If not, then it might be worth dehybridizing to OP.

    What do you think?

    Best Regards,

    Bob K.

  • HoosierCheroKee

    What do I think about your plan?

    I think that if you get your Brandywine Sudduth seeds from Johnny's you should be getting the same cultivar that came from the Sudduth family via Ben Quisenberry via Ken Ettlinger via Craig LeHoullier to Johnny's and that should be very good indeed. To this day, I've never seen a prettier Brandywine tomato than the one Ken Ettlinger publishes a picture of at his Long Island Seed Project site.

    Check this out for the BW-Suddeth and the original envelope Mr. Quisenberry sent to Mr. Ettlinger: Click Here Wonderful!

    If you get your Neves Azorean Red from TomatoFest, I really don't have an opinion, because I really don't know where that company got it's NAR or how they maintained it since acquiring it. If it has the same compact, indeterminate growing habit with nice erect shoots and large, red, dense, heavy, meaty, tasty tomatoes, then that would be a wonderful parent too.

    If you bag the blossoms after pollination, I guess that extra effort is commendable, but I still dont see the benefit since if you timely emasculated the flowers and got a good pollen set, you should have good F1 seed. If you use the Brandywine (PL) as the seed parent and the NAR (RL) as the pollen parent, then you'll be able to confirm the cross when the true leaves begin to show serrated edges rather than smooth edges. My BW x NAR F1s were an intermediate leaf form between potato leaf and regular leaf ... but definitely showed some indentations along the leaf edges.

    If you are bagging blossoms for the purpose of saving pure germplasm from each parent for future year crossing, that's good.

    I think you're ability and desire to keep exacting records is great. What you describe doing is what should be done ... plus roguing out non-conforming plants from your parent lines as you go. And I think continuing the F1 seed production would be a very good thing to do.

    And finally, I think you'll definitely find hybrid vigor in the cross. I found earlier tomatoes, earlier heavier and heavier fruit set, stronger growth with darker green foliage. Unfortunately, the F1 didn't have the compactness of NAR, and I think maybe you'd find that characteristic in some of the segregations ... I'd hope.

    Here are some pictures of the two parent tomaotoes and the F1 fruit and leaves: Click Here

    Bill

  • carolyn137

    I'd take what I have learned from you and start with NAR seed from Tomatofest, which should be true, and Brandywine Sudduth from Johnny's which I believe they watch very closely to make sure it is true. I'd use blossom bags as mentioned in my previous post and keep close records on blossom and fruit dates and fruit sizes, weights and numbers.

    ******

    Bob, since I introduced Neves Azorean Red probably my seed is the truest and I sent it to both Sandhill and TGS, who both offer it.

    As for Brandywine ( Sudduth), Johnny's is fine since Craig LeHoullier sent it there as he did to me ( he's my best tomato friend ever) and I sent it to Sandhill.

    So if you want NAR and Brandywine ( Sudduth) please e-mail me at cmale@aol.com for both. Of course your choice on where you want to get your seeds.

    At least I think I still have some Brandywine ( Sudduth) around; I know I have the NAR.

    Not a general offer folks.

    Carolyn

  • bigdaddyj

    First things first, the Colts were robbed last night by the refs...:(

    And last week that prevent defense with a 10 point lead was a mistake. A "prevent defense" only PREVENTS you from winning most times...:(

    Seems to me the Colts are lacking a little hybrid vigor of their own lately...LOL

    That seed pack that reads:

    3 large pink
    BigBen & Brandywine
    6 Mortgage Lifter

    What's the Big Ben connection/meaning if any I wonder? Three varieties in that pack? Confused here....

  • carolyn137

    3 large pink
    BigBen & Brandywine
    6 Mortgage Lifter

    What's the Big Ben connection/meaning if any I wonder? Three varieties in that pack? Confused here

    Yes, three varieties in that pack.

    Brandywine you know, Mortgage Lifter you know, Big Ben is a Ben Quisenberry variety, he of Brandywine ( Sudduth) and it's a large pink with RL foliage and fruits around one pound.

    Carolyn

  • HoosierCheroKee

    Big Daddy, I too am disappointed in the outcome of the Colts game. But missing a field goal from the 15-yard-line can hardly be blamed on the officials!!! Now ...

    "That seed pack that reads:
    3 large pink
    BigBen & Brandywine
    6 Mortgage Lifter
    What's the Big Ben connection/meaning if any I wonder? Three varieties in that pack? Confused here ..." [Big Daddy]

    Yeppers, here's that packet right here for those who didn't "click"

    ... and here is what Ken Ettlinger (apparently a bit confused too, Big Daddy, when he got the envelope with mixed seeds) asked Mr. Quisenberry ...

    "I received the Brandywine Tomato in the above glysine envelope that Ben printed on a small hand press with his address and then in his own handwriting, wrote 'gift' and a description of the varieties that he included. I called to thank him and ask, 'How will I tell the varieties part?' He responded, 'You'll know Brandywine by the leaves, they're very unusual'. He kept records of where the different varieties in his collection came from. Brandywine came from woman named, Dorris who said it was in her family, the Sudduth family for many years."

    Big Daddy, I love that story and don't really care whether the tomatoes got all straightened out or not ... but I think they did. Once when I saw Ken's photo, I wrote him asking for some of his Brandywine Sudduth seeds and if he had kept them running pure from those originals back in the 80s. Here, in part, is some of his reply ...

    "Yes, it is my understanding that Big Ben is also known as Stump of the World, but I don't know the source of that information (it wasn't me- since I've never grown a labeled "Stump of the World"!) I do have about 500 tomatoes in my collection some which are just not available anymore, so in the next couple of weeks I will be going through the collection and my notes to decide what I must grow out. I'll be on the look out for the old Quisenberry tomatoes, I may still have some of the seeds from the early grow outs from the original '3 pink tomatoes' packet. Seed viability is another concern. I'll let you know what happens."

    Now, I'm not trying to stir up controversy regarding Big Ben - Stump of the World. That's old news. I just include this partial email as part of the ongoing saga of the Quisenberry/Sudduth Brandywine because I love the story.

    Bill

  • carolyn137

    Now, I'm not trying to stir up controversy regarding Big Ben - Stump of the World. That's old news. I just include this partial email as part of the ongoing saga of the Quisenberry/Sudduth Brandywine because I love the story.

    ****

    Bill, looking in some much earlier SSE Yearbooks I do see a few folks equating Stump and Big Ben. One problem is that those who list Big Ben usually say RL and those who list Stump usually say RL.

    But much of this goes back to about 1986 and I suppose I could try and dig those Yearbooks out at sometime and take a look.For instance, in the 1996 Yearbook Calvin Waite, a very experienced grower, says that while Big Ben was described in the 1988 SSE Winter Yearbook as pink what he got was red fruits. His source was Thane Earle in 1987.

    In that same 1996 Yearbook SSE is listing a Big Ben with no info and it's Tomato # 330 which means it was brought into SSE almost when they started in the 1975 to 1976 time period.

    Carolyn

  • bigdaddyj

    Thank you Bill and Carolyn for the info. I am interested in the story too because it is my favorite variety and I find the history of my favorite varieties interesting.

    I also look forward to growing the NAR/Brandy cross next summer. Two of my faves married together. Should be a winner.

    Bill, without the bogus 5 yd penalty prior to Vinatari's miss he makes that 10 yard field goal with that same kick.

    Sure he should have made the 15 but the 10 was a 99%er.

    Also, losing that first down was huge. I thought Addai got a bad spot from the ref. I thought it was definitely a first down. The right call there and it's lights out for the Chargers.-

    In any case, with all the injuries, I am not surprised with this loss. If they get healthy by playoffs it will be payback time against the Pats...:)

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