Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Great Growers and Great (and not so great) Genetic Plants

A big thanks to Joe for the new 282 Scherber plant!  As mentioned before, three of my 282 seeds produced plants that I would describe as having "failure to thrive issues."  I've heard people say that they wouldn't grow a 2nd generation selfed seed but in the past I wouldn't have believed it would be a problem.  Now I'm starting to wonder.

Some people believe that you can get some plants with genetic issues when a plant is selfed (aka self pollinated) for two generations.  Other people would tell you that with pumpkin plants it wouldn't be an issue.  Selfing is a good way to solidify a genetic line and to get certain traits to become consistent.  However you could more easily get two recessive genes to combine and get some traits that are maybe less desirable.

My experience with the 1775 Starr seed last year which was a 2nd generation selfed seed wasn't great.  However there were a couple of descent pumpkins grown last year from that seed and every pumpkin has seeds that just won't grow a big pumpkin.  This year with the 282 Scherber seed there is a clear genetic issue that I've seen in the three plants I started and in other people's diaries.   The plant is slow to germinate, slow to grow and has very small leaves.  Although I've seen other 282 plants that look just as healthy and grow as well as the world record clone plant that the 282 seed came from.  Genetics is a complicated thing.

This new 282 looks to be a great plant.  All of the traits of its mama.  My hope is to pollinate it with the 1725 clone that produced the 282 seed to keep those genetic lines in tact and hopefully produce a very large pumpkin this year.

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