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Delicious and large-fruited tomato potential

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    Delicious and large-fruited tomato potential

    I think one of the novelties that many people want to see from a micro is one that produces something with a substantial size.

    I am sure there are many reasons as to why producing a large, sandwich-covering fruit is likely not possible on a true micro - but, for one, would love to see how far we can push it.

    Delicious is one variety of indeterminate tomato that is know for producing very large tomatoes. In fact, it is one variety used in many of the recent "world record" attempts (and some, winners), for "largest tomato in the world.

    In order to get such large tomatoes, growers will typically prune off all flowers except a few and only allow one or two tomatoes to actually grow to maturity.

    I've not seen any experiments done with micros, especially ones that have potential to grow larger tomatoes, where only a few fruits are allowed to mature.

    Dan has some lines that include genetics of some rather large tomatoes, already - but I am thinking a cross with Delicious might be worth pursuing.

    I'm also wonder if the multi-flora genetics in many of our current crosses might be detrimental towards growing "large" tomatoes on micros.

    Interested in others' thoughts on this topic!

    #2
    My climate is not suited to growing large tomatoes. Every year I try growing a different batch of tomatoes, and one year I chose "big" as the category. One, Crnkovic Yugoslavian, actually ripened a fruit by the end of July. Others hadn't even flowered by then. Sicilian Saucer grew taller than me and managed to produce two tomatoes - a month apart.

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      #3
      I have thoughts on lots of things....

      I obviously would also like to see how far we could push the size of fruit on a small plant. I don't have any Delicious seed, but would be happy to make a cross if you'd like. Or, better still, you make a cross if you'd like. I'd be happy to send you seed from any of these I have. I think these have the genetics to somewhat push the boundary. Another cross back to something like Delicious would probably take it to the max.

      One of the beauties of these little ones is how quickly you can make progress - for example...

      I received F1 seeds from Mark McCaslin in January of 2018. I started half the seed of each of three varieties he sent and potted them up to plastic cups. They blossomed in the cups and I collected pollen form them that I used to make cross with those micros I had growing at the time. It was too early in the season for me to do anything but toss them out after I collected pollen in March and April of 2018. Some of those crossed fruits ripened by May and I was able to grow F1s that summer. I am now growing F5 plants from some of those crosses I initially made in March less than 2 years ago. It is typically 2 years before you can grow F2s from a cross - make the cross first year - grow the F1 second year, etc.

      I don't know about the multiflora gene. I am sure that if a plant is multiflora (homozygous for the multiflora) the fruits will be smaller. However, if the plant itself is not multiflora but has it in its background, I don't know if it will have any effect. I would think not, but don't know.

      If you want to try to see how large a single fruit you can grow on a plant, some of these may be a great place to start. If I understand it, they like to start with a megabloom - a fused blossom. Some of these put out a terminal megabloom at the end of a main stem. Sometimes alone with a huge multifloral spray of blossom, sometimes with just a few other blossoms. I snip the megabloom. You could snip the other blossoms and see what happens.

      Look in OneNote under 35X - 35X F4 1-8 megablooms to see some photos of the megablooms. I didn't trim any blossoms from these. It would be fun to try.

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      Last edited by dfollett; 02-16-2020, 10:39 PM.

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        #4
        Diane, the beauty of these little ones is you are not limited by your climate. These will never rival the size of those they grow for competition, but it will be fun to see how far we can go. These can be grown in a pot or bag that can be easily moved in and outside as needed to accommodate the weather. Wouldn't it be nice to have something that tasted like a real tomato year-round?

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          #5
          I would love to give it a go. I have not yet attempted breeding in the tomato world. Need to watch a few videos (again) on emasculation and practice on a few of the current crop to get a good feel for it.

          I think I've seen a few megablooms so far, for example this one, that I assume is a MB but not near as "mega" as the ones you have in Onenote:
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          Craig is supposed to send some seeds from the Morty line of the the Dwarf project - which was a cross with Mortgage Lifter. I wonder if it might be easier to get a "larger fruited micro" if we crossed with a "larger fruited dwarf" - meaning you already have the combination of large fruit+smaller plant, taking some of the effort out of trying to find the right combination of genes - now it's just combining that with "micro".

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            #6
            While the dwarfs aren't necessarily smaller, they are sturdy so more easily able to support either multifruited or large tomatoes.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Diane Whitehead View Post
              While the dwarfs aren't necessarily smaller, they are sturdy so more easily able to support either multifruited or large tomatoes.
              The sturdy stems come in handy.

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                #8
                I am growing about 33 of Dan's 162 X F2. I sowed them in November and they are under lights in an unheated part of my house. One has one of the big flowers that beefsteak tomatoes have. Two other plants have little tomatoes started, but I can't remember what their flowers were like.

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                  #9
                  In the 88x line I am growing, I am definitely seeing some mega blooms. This line could be a good one to try to get larger tomatoes as what I am seeing already look like little beefsteaks.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by HL2601 View Post
                    In the 88x line I am growing, I am definitely seeing some mega blooms. This line could be a good one to try to get larger tomatoes as what I am seeing already look like little beefsteaks.
                    I hesitate to give advice, but.... My experience with megablooms on these little things leads me to remove them, especially when they are the lead of a main stem terminating inflorescence like the photos I'll include here. When the megabloom is left, it seems to take all the energy and you never get much else. It often is associated with multiflora.

                    I've seen a quasi-professional breeder advise to not save seed from a line that shows that characteristic. He called it a bad trait that should be avoided. My take has been to clip the bloom and see what happens. I quite often like the results when it is removed. I've seldom seen good results when it is left - see the two photos earlier in this thread. Those two plants never did much other than that one single fruit.

                    If you want to see just how large a fruit you can grow, leave it and clip other blossoms that set fruit like the giant tomato growers do.

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                      #11
                      Interesting. When you say that trait seems to be associated with MF - you mean, you clip that bloom and then the plant continues on and exhibits MF flowering thereafter?

                      I've only noticed 1 "megabloom" so far, and it wasn't very big - but that was from this one (this plant looks terrible in the pics) - megabloom resulted in the fruit at the bottom - it was one of the first to flower, and first to set fruit. 113X line
                      https://www.tomato-talk.com/filedata...4&d=1582068969
                      https://www.tomato-talk.com/filedata...0&d=1582048860

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by SeanInVa View Post
                        Interesting. When you say that trait seems to be associated with MF - you mean, you clip that bloom and then the plant continues on and exhibits MF flowering thereafter?
                        I am not saying megablooms are associated with with multiflora generally. They're not typically. But there is a situation where they seem to be.

                        I am not an expert in any way about megablooms. As I understand it, they can pop up anywhere. They are fused blossoms - a random deformity/defect. Outside in the garden in normal indeterminate tomatoes, they are often associated with extra cold nights and are more frequent in early season blossoms. That is not the megabloom I am talking about.

                        There is also at least one type of megabloom that has a genetic component to it. Some lines of these plants manifest that trait occasionally. If you look at the two photos I posted, you'll see a megabloom at the tip of a main stem in front of an inflorescence on each plant. They appear to be determinate. The main stem ends with the inflorescence but that stem terminates with a huge megabloom instead of the stem petering out with a bunch of blossoms. I've not kept strict track to be able to say for sure that multiflora always follows that type of blossom at the end of the main stem but it seems to. The multiflora doesn't come after you trim the megabloom. They are usually growing below the tip from the start. The stem just leads with the megabloom at the tip. I'll attach a couple of photos showing what I'm saying in the extreme.

                        These are two photos of the same plant. The first main stem terminated with a single blossom - and no other blossoms (very unusual in my experience). It then sent up a secondary 'main' stem that terminated with a multiflora inflorescence. I don't think that second stem had a megabloom at the tip.

                        Originally posted by SeanInVa View Post
                        I've only noticed 1 "megabloom" so far, and it wasn't very big - but that was from this one (this plant looks terrible in the pics) - megabloom resulted in the fruit at the bottom - it was one of the first to flower, and first to set fruit. 113X line
                        There may be a megabloom there on yours, but what you're seeing there is not what I am referring to. What I am referring to definitely has a genetic component to it. It is in some family lines and not others. I haven't eliminated it because I am curious to see how they do. If the plant with that characteristic is truly determinate, if it produces good large fruits, and all you need to do is to clip the megabloom from the tip - why not give if a shot?

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                          #13
                          I've had the megablooms on other, usually heirloom, indeterminates. There is an obvious difference between it and a "normal" tomato flower

                          Now - that said - you're talking about a megabloom exhibiting in a certain manner, with a certain genetic characteristic. The one I've seen was otherwise just any old flower, but yes, it came about early (much like the ones I've seen in normal indeterminates).

                          In the two pictures above, are you saying the megabloom in the first shot, which is at the apex of the growing shoot - did *not* produce the fruit growing about 6-8" up the stem in shot #2? And are you also saying you clipped this same flower, and you believe that resulted in the extra (double?) growth of the stem which culminated in the shower of flowers at the top?

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                            #14
                            I'm not saying that. That megabloom did produce the fruit in the second photo. I didn't clip anything. I let that one grow because with only a single megablossom on the main stem, it was so unique - although I had 3 other siblings that were very similar. I currently have a bunch of 135X F4s growing from one line and most of them showed a terminal inflorescence with a megabloom. I clipped (and marked) many of them and left others to see the difference. I'm still learning and figuring this stuff out. That's one reason I'm hesitant to say anything definitively.

                            If you look at the two photos in post #10, you can see the additional multiflora blossoms lower on the main stem just below the megabloom. With that type of growth, the number of blossoms in that inflorescence grows well beyond the number shown at the time I took those photos.

                            Some determinate plants (those whose main stem ends with an inflorescence) send up the second 'main' stem and some don't. I quite sure it doesn't have anything to do with clipping the megabloom. And most of the determinates don't have a main stem that terminates with a megabloom. When it shows up in a line, many, but not all, manifest that characteristic.

                            Another photo example: This plant was one of the first I noticed with this trait. I left the megablossom and watched it closely. It produced one big ugly fruit and a couple of others that didn't do well.

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                            Last edited by dfollett; 02-29-2020, 04:16 PM.

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                              #15
                              OK, I follow now. Will be interesting to see what comes out of the testing your doing.

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