cross pollination (again)

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by mamagoose, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    I found a similar question in a search here, but I still don't get it. (I've gardened for several years, but not all that successfully). From experiece I know that: if I put a green pepper near a hot pepper that my green peppers are likely to be hot. From experience I know that: if I plant a zucchini near a bumpy yellow squash, I'll get some bumpy zucchini. I know that what I read about fruit and nut trees is that they need a pollinator of a different variety to get the best yield. My question is what am I really eating? Forget the saving seeds (for now) because I understand that if possibly cross-pollinated, the seed (now a hybrid) has genes from two different varieties and you could certainly get a variety of offspring from this seed. The same true from purchased hybrid seed. What I don't get again, is what am I really eating that first year from my expensive purchased seed? I know I'm not eating a true green pepper or zucchini as stated above when planted close together, so why isn't the same true when I put 10 different varieties of tomatoes in the same small plot??? And the fruit and nut trees??? Hoping I get thrown a life jacket here.
     
  2. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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  3. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    " From experiece I know that: if I put a green pepper near a hot pepper that my green peppers are likely to be hot. "

    You experience is so different than mine that I couldn't figure out how to even answer your question. I plant sometimes one each of six or seven different kinds of peppers right next to each other and each plant bears what it is suppose to bear. Now, keep in mind that for seed saving that would be an entirely different story as you would need to protect the blossoms and pollinate them yourself, but I don't think that is what you are talking about.......is it?

    Cubits will cross pollinate and give you some weird stuff so I do separate them. Bees go from one fruit blossom to another and that is how things get pollinated. I still don't understand what your question is. Why don't you just plant things like the directions say to and enjoy what you get?? What's with the purity thing??
     
  4. superduperchickenman

    superduperchickenman Well-Known Member

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    I think her question is, isn't she eating a Half Big Boy X half long tom instead of say a big boy tomato? Because it was fertilized , the big boy, by long tom pollen...

    could be some truth to that, because the seed would be a cross... LOL :) Tomato genitics!!!

    but in my opinion, it would still look like a big boy, taste like a big boy, have the same qualaties... would I be wrong??? ;)

     
  5. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    This is from Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth:

    "Imagine that a Yellow Crookneck squash and a Dark Green zucchini (which both belong to Cucurbita pepo) are growing in the same garden. A honeybee gathering pollen lands on a male flower and collects Dark Green zucchini pollen. Not quite overburdened, the bee then flies to an open female flower on the Yellow Crookneck squash.

    The crossed fruit that results will develop and look exactly like all of the other Yellow Crookneck squash on that plant, but any seeds inside that were fertilized by zucchini pollen will carry the genetic code of both parents. If those crossed seeds (known as F1 hybrids or the F1 generation) were saved and replanted, they would produce plants that were uniquely different from the parent plants."
     
  6. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    mamagoose,

    The characteristics of the none-seed parts of the plants we eat are determined by the genetics of the female parent (although it's a lot more complex than this). Many of the characteristics of the seeds are determined by the genetics of both parents (again, the whole story is a lot more complex).

    From experiece I know that: if I put a green pepper near a hot pepper that my green peppers are likely to be hot.

    If your sweet pepper was fertillized by a hot pepper, yes. The capsacin (sp?) is produced in the seeds, and migrates out into the flesh. Environmental factors can also cause a "sweet pepper" to taste hot. In reality, peppers are generally self-fertile, so most flowers are fertillized before the flowers even open. This is probably why Diane's experience is so different than yours.

    From experience I know that: if I plant a zucchini near a bumpy yellow squash, I'll get some bumpy zucchini.

    No. If you got bumpy zucchini, it was caused by some factor other than the genetics of the father.

    I know that what I read about fruit and nut trees is that they need a pollinator of a different variety to get the best yield.

    Many do, some do not. (Assuming of course, that you really meant pollenizer when you wrote pollinator. All plants need pollinators to produce fruit.)

    My question is what am I really eating? What I don't get again, is what am I really eating that first year from my expensive purchased seed?

    If you're eating seeds (corn, pumkin seeds, most nuts), the characteristics of those seeds were indeed determined by both parents. That's why you need to isolate some sweet corn varieties.

    If you're eating any other part, then the characteristics of those parts were determined by the female parent only.

    I know I'm not eating a true green pepper or zucchini as stated above when planted close together, so why isn't the same true when I put 10 different varieties of tomatoes in the same small plot?

    Because, like peppers, tomatoes are also generally self-fertile, and most flowers are fertillized before the flowers even open. Even when cross pollination does take place, you shouldn't notice any differences, because tomato seeds don't contribute any flavor/quality components.

    And the fruit and nut trees?

    Same as above. Nuts are kind of a special case. I'll have to check up on them.

    I know that the above answers aren't terribly good, but a complete explaination would really be long and boring.

    If you need any of this clarified, just ask.
     
  7. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you just plant things like the directions say to and
    enjoy what you get?? What's with the purity thing??

    Based on my experience with "hot" peppers and zukes, I thought maybe the same was happening to my tomatoes, etc. and I was not eating what I planted as I tend to put several varieties near one another. My markers sometime get pulled up, so I lack reference and thought maybe I was blaming weather for say, smaller tomatoes, when it might have been location and cross-pollination. Thanks for your response and sorry I was so confusing.
     
  8. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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  9. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    I was sure of the seeds, it was the "hot" peppers and bumpy zucchini that were confusing me.

    Thanks so much for your reply!
     
  10. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Steve L.,
    Thank you so much for getting me straightened out!

    "The characteristics of the none-seed parts of the plants we eat are determined by the genetics of the female parent (although it's a lot more complex than this). Many of the characteristics of the seeds are determined by the genetics of both parents (again, the whole story is a lot more complex)."

    That's what I didn't know. Thanks! Curious, where does one find more info on this? (I believe you, I just have to know it all!)


    "If your sweet pepper was fertillized by a hot pepper, yes. The capsacin (sp?) is produced in the seeds, and migrates out into the flesh."

    Ah, ha!


    "No. If you got bumpy zucchini, it was caused by some factor other than the genetics of the father."

    Maybe I was using "cheap" crossed up seed.



    "If you're eating seeds (corn, pumkin seeds, most nuts), the characteristics of those seeds were indeed determined by both parents. That's why you need to isolate some sweet corn varieties.

    If you're eating any other part, then the characteristics of those parts were determined by the female parent only."

    Okay. In my boggled mind, I wasn't differentiating corn (seed) vs. tomato (fruit), etc. Duh moment (or longer).


    And the fruit and nut trees?

    "Same as above. Nuts are kind of a special case. I'll have to check up on them."

    The catalogs always read that a particular tree produces better if pollinated by a different variety.

    "I know that the above answers aren't terribly good, but a complete explaination would really be long and boring."

    Your explanation was great and simple enough to keep me from being so frustrated. I was thinking about diversifying my planting areas anyway to confuse bugs, though.

    Thanks so much!!!
     
  11. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    Books, magazine articles, internet. Or, (this is the easiest way) you could do what I did, and work at an agricultural college for 28 years!
     
  12. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    Of course they do. It's nominally true, and saves them from having to accurately describe each one.
     
  13. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Mamagoose, the fact that capsicum is produced in the seed is not quite correct but close. Rather it is produced by the plant and concentrated in the seeds. However, it does NOT happen with the initial pollination. The plant will produce a seed exactly as it is genetically programmed to do. No matter what a blossom is pollinated with, it has no effects whatsoever on changing what the plant produces. In the case of a pepper, the crossed seed will NOT be any hotter or sweeter than what it was pollinated with. The individual plant decides that, not the pollen. The DNA of both plants will be in those seeds and the genetic program will be changed but only for the next generation of plants.

    In the case of fruit trees, every single apple tree is a hybrid. No apple seed will produce a tree bearing exactly identical fruit as the parent. Apple blossoms are such that their own pollen will seldom allow "mating" with itself. They need to receive pollen from another tree which has compatible pollen to fertilize the blossoms. But regardless of what variety an apple blossom is pollinated with, the fruit will remain the same forever as that is what the tree is genetically programmed to produce.

    Certain nut trees are the same thing. No two stands of hickory are ever the same and no two trees within a stand produce identical nuts. The further south one goes, the more pronounced the changes in hickories become as they get closer to the pecan's range. There, the two readily cross to produce very distinct and varied hybrids. A similar situation exists with black walnuts of which there are at least 35-40 recognized and named "strains", many possible to maintain only by grafting, which is also the ONLY way to maintain any apple variety.

    Martin
     
  14. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I wish. I started college in ag ed, then got married, joined the service and had babies. They kept me pretty busy for the next 20 years!
     
  15. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Martin, but I hope you're not trying to confuse me again. I did have a hot sweet pepper with a first cross, possible, right?

    So, is it true that some varieties of fruit and nut trees "make" others produce more abundantly? (and why?)

    I know I'm a pain, just trying to learn and I appreciate it.
     
  16. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Why does pollination produce more fruit? Normal flowers have both male and female parts just as in the animal kingdom. With no animal breeding, there are no babies. With no pollination, there are no fruit or nuts. With more animal breeding, there are more babies. With more pollination, there are more fruit and nuts. Simple isn't it?

    In the case of apples, the female portion of the flower considers its own pollen as being foreign and rejects it. Some will even reject pollen from dissimilar types. That is, certain red types will not pollinate certain yellow varieties and v.v. That is why tree nurseries will suggest a particular variety as pollinator for another variety. The apple DNA is so complicated that not just any other apple tree will do the job.

    Although winds do play a very minor part in fruit pollination, bees do 99% of the work. Although honeybees will work only a single variety of flower at a time, they do not recognize the difference between two different apple varieties. Delicious, Cortland, Prairie Spy, whatever, are all identical to them since the flowers are identical. Standard orchard planting will be to have 3 rows of the main crop and then a row of a secondary crop. Thus one can not have a large orchard with only Delicious or one of only Cortland. It must be a mix of compatible varieties.

    Nut tree pollination is best done by winds. If the prevailing winds are westerly, and there is a west to east valley, the easternmost trees will bear the largest number of nuts. And, the trees at the highest elevations will also usually be the best producers.

    Even the sweetest green peppers have capsicum. Although most is concentrated in the seeds, it also exists in the fleshy portion. As the fruit matures, water and natural oils dilute it. An immature sweet pepper WILL taste hot since because the cells have not yet been expanded by water. If allowed to fully ripen, the capsicum is still there but masked by the water and oils. But you will NOT ever get a true hot pepper from a sweet pepper blossom which has been pollinated by a hot pepper blossom. It is a botanical impossibility!

    Martin