08 January 2017

Floriferous dwarf tomatoes

Some years ago when i was growing for the Dwarf Tomato Project (which incidentally got me into vegetable breeding) I decided to try to breed a dwarf form of my favourite tomato -Jaune Flammee. I crossed it to an early generation dwarf called Snowy. Snowy didn't turn out great, yielding white saladette tomatoes of no particular note - OK, but not spectacular.

Anyway, i grew out the dwarf JF F1s and F2s, in a somewhat desultory manner, in tiny pots yielding only one or two fruit each. I might have back-crossed them to the JF parent, but i really can't remember.

I didn't progress them for a couple of years, but this spring I found the seed packet at a judicious time, and got a dozen or so plants which went into boxes in the greenhouse.

I'm still not sure of the colour or flavour, since they haven't ripened yet - there looks to be a range of fruit shapes - but surprisingly, most of them have produced multiflora-type inflorescences.

I took a few pics today, and counted one of the trusses - 102 flowers on a branching inflorescence. These aren't all setting fruit - I suspect a few more buzz pollinators might be needed - but the interesting question is where did these genes come from?

Neither of the parents is quite so floriferous - JF has nice full inflorescences, but nothing like this. The fact that it is showing up in most of the dozen or so plants suggests it might be a stable phenotype - when the days are not quite so stoiching, I will try to find time to get out and do a fuller examination.

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