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Thread: Where are all the amateur apple breeders?

  1. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulieb View Post
    With regards to creating new varieties, would I be right in thinking that you could just sow any random apple pips and that would give you a new variety, as by default it most likely would have been cross pollinated.
    The pips arising from an apple that has been cross pollinated are, by definition, going to be genetically different from both of the parents. However, even if a variety is self-fertile, and has been pollinated by pollen from another flower of the same variety, the pips will be genetically 'different' from the parent because of the processes of 'crossing over' and 'independent assortment of chromosomes' occurring during meiosis in the formation of the haploid gametes (pollen and egg cell). Although in this case the tree that grows from the pip should not possess any genes not originally present in the parent, the two versions of each gene it carries (one from the male and one from the female gamete) will not always match up with the two versions in the parental apple. Hence, it should differ in some ways from the parent tree and is definitely not a clone.
    Last edited by boundtothesoil; 26-05-2013 at 08:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FB. View Post
    Shop-bought apples tend to have poor disease resistance, and in my experience, in most cases the seedlings from common shop-bought apples don't usually survive more than a few months after germination before being killed by disease - usually mildew.
    Whilst most supermarket varieties are not as resilient as traditional varieties, it does not necessarily follow their offspring will be weak, especially when you factor in the contribution from the probable parent - an orchard crab-apple pollinator. A more likely difficulty is that many supermarket varieties are adapted to warm climates and probably don't like the English weather.

    I've found Red Delicious seedlings fairly successful - it's not my favourite variety, but you never know. It's also well-known for its strong resistance to fireblight.

  3. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangepippin View Post
    Whilst most supermarket varieties are not as resilient as traditional varieties, it does not necessarily follow their offspring will be weak, especially when you factor in the contribution from the probable parent - an orchard crab-apple pollinator. A more likely difficulty is that many supermarket varieties are adapted to warm climates and probably don't like the English weather.

    I've found Red Delicious seedlings fairly successful - it's not my favourite variety, but you never know. It's also well-known for its strong resistance to fireblight.
    The crab pollinator might add disease resistance, but it won't be doing much for fruit quality.

    I have a Red Delicious seedling - known as Jupiter! - and it's one of the best of the modern triploid varieties in my area - absolutely 100% immune to mildew every season and not attractive to woolly aphids either.
    In contrast; Suntan was very prone to mildew (and suffered more codling than I'd like) while Jumbo had only average resistance to mildew. I no longer have Suntan or Jumbo (I did not mourn their loss) but Jupiter is a keeper.
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    Yes, Jupiter is one of the more reliable Cox offspring, and seems to benefit from the disease-resistance of the American Delicious. It's a half-sister / cousin of another well-known "English" apple, Kidd's Orange Red (Cox x Delicious). If you are wanting to breed your own apple variety, Cox x Delicious seems to have good potential.

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    If I were breeding on a serious basis, I would attempt to acquire some of the tetraploid variants - such as the Spartan 4N mutant or the Jonathan 4N mutants - both North American varieties with a somewhat different gene pool to the British apples. Spartan being 9,10 and Jonathan being 7,9.

    If the 4N mutant strains were pollinated with suitably compatible English diploid varieties, I would expect the offspring should mostly be triploids, with the larger fruit size, greater tolerance of difficult conditions and better disease resistance often found in triploids.
    Hugh Ermen's triploid "Jumbo" being a Jonathan 4N x Charles Ross seedling if I remember correctly.

    For what it's worth; I have suspicions (but no definitive proof) that Laxton's Epicure might be tetraploid.
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    Well there you have it BttS
    Never test the depth of the water with both feet

    The only reason people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory....

    Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedThorn View Post
    Well there you have it BttS
    I suppose I do RedThorn. Although undaunted, I must admit to being a little disappointed (so far) not to have stumbled across a thriving breeders cell here, not withstanding the interesting comments by others on this thread.

    There are older threads on the subject. In particular I've found what FB said on the thread below to be very useful and informative regarding breeding objectives and the choice of parental varieties etc.
    Growing An Apple Tree From Seed

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    Quote Originally Posted by FB. View Post
    If I were breeding on a serious basis, I would attempt to acquire some of the tetraploid variants - such as the Spartan 4N mutant or the Jonathan 4N mutants - both North American varieties with a somewhat different gene pool to the British apples.
    I believe Hugh Ermen often used a variety called Doud, which I think is a tetraploid Golden Delicious.
    DuncanM likes this.

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