Post by blueadzuki on Dec 18, 2016 19:12:59 GMT -5
The things is there are two species S. heluva and S. leonitas. One is fuzzy, one is not (for example the kind I harvest by the railroad tracks isn't). And they cross with each other readily so individual plants vary in fuzziness quite a lot. Plus I'm not sure the "fuzziness" doesn't refer to the brown gunk you find on the seeds when you harvest them (the stuff that scratches off)
Actually, no one is sure WHERE the original wild population is, or even if it still exists. The Natives liked the plant so much they sowed it around their camps, and as far as anyone can tell, all samples we have come from those or their descendants.
As for how it got around, that's easy, it's a common ingredient in erosion control seed mixes (it's good at binding together soil) and it reseeds readily. It isn't just by my railroad station you can pick it (on both sides), but along every station on the line (so about 30 miles)
Post by blueadzuki on Dec 18, 2016 20:54:08 GMT -5
I don't really USE it for anything. It's just really to have a reference sample of (and to be honest for something to pass the time while I wait for the train to come in). As far as I know it is as edible as they say it is, but I have never tried it, I assume the area around the train tracks is too polluted to make that safe.
With my previous backcross done, I had another mini-project set up to try a bunch more runner x tepary and tepary x runner crosses and get some more experience. Unfortunately, the runner bean plant produced one and only one flower and then a bunch of leaves for two straight months. Gar.
Fortunately, a Fort Portal Violet x Moldovanesti Buffalo Runner plant was still around and starting to produce flowers at the same time as a F1 tepary cross and a couple of Blue Speckled Tepary plants from the runner/tepary cross mini-project. I started thinking and wondered if a (common x runner) x tepary cross might be more successful than a common x tepary or a runner x tepary. My thinking was that if the incompatibility factors with teparies are different for runners and for common beans, a particular haploid from a F1 common x runner might get lucky and have the "good" part from each parent species. As an added bonus, the pollen on the common x runner F1 isn't terribly viable, so poor emasculations would be less likely to mess up the results.
I also vaguely remember reading a paper about using runner beans as a bridge species between tepary beans and common beans, and that they managed to get one or a few seeds without using embryo rescue. I'm pretty sure they also said the seed(s) didn't grow very well, but that's a different matter. My memory is vague, I think they might have attempted this same type of cross. I've looked around and haven't been able to find the paper again.
So, I started making crosses around the beginning of December and things are going well. I've attempted over 100 crosses and continue to make a few more every day. Most pods are aborting after about 15 - 20 days without any seed development whatsoever, but a handful are growing to some degree. My oldest and best pod is 24 days old, which is pretty good, and a seed appears to be developing. From what I've read, 35 days would be about the earliest for a viable seed.
They might all be selfed, but they also might not. I hope to find out!
I guess I haven't updated this thread for a while. Well, not surprisingly, I didn't manage to get a (common x runner) x tepary cross to fully mature. The one in the picture above aborted a couple days after I posted. A few other pods grew for quite a while and some of the seeds got to the cotyledon stage before aborting. It took a lot of crosses to get even that far. About 1/10 of the crosses I attempted developed at all, and maybe 1/3 or 1/4 of these got past the heart-shaped embryo stage. The good news is that this should be workable if I ever attempt embryo rescue.
As for my runner/common crossing projects, I made some (BCC x BHR) x BCC crosses and got a total of six seeds from four pods. These crosses are relatively easy, with 4/18 making it to maturity.
I also planted two of the (FPVC x MolR) x FPVC seeds and am trying to get them to flower at the same time as some MolR plants. Fungus gnats. Aargh. I'd really like to get some seeds from this cross to plant in the garden this summer.
FPVC = Fort Portal Violet Common Bean MolR = Moldovanesti Buffalo Runner bean BCC = Black Coco Common Bean BHR = Beacon Hill Runner Bean
I didn't manage to get any MolR x ((FPVC x MolR) x FPVC) seeds from the last round of beans beans. The problem was a lack of flowers on the MolR plant, and I was only able to attempt 13 crosses. A couple pods got reasonably mature before aborting and one produced a very shriveled seed, but nothing that seems like it will grow.
Runner beans are definitely hit or miss with my indoor setup. They grow greenery well but flower erratically. One plant last winter grew for a while, put out a single flower, grew for another month or two and then put out a good flush of flowers. That behavior makes it hard to plan for crosses. My best guess is that my basement is too cool.
In any case, I got a few (FPVC x MolR) x FPVC F2 seeds. I'm growing some of them out and have some MolR plants outside in the garden. Hopefully I can cross them this summer and get some seeds with runner bean cytoplasm and some common bean genes.
I also have a Golden Gaucho (GGC) x MolR plant growing, along with a couple GGC plants. Buds are forming and I'll make some backcrosses starting in a week or two.
I've continued crossing and back-crossing common and runner beans, and have continued trying to cross these plants with tepary beans. I've got a fair number of different little projects going on, so I'll give a brief description of each.
Bush Runner Bean I have a (GGC x MolR) x GGC plant growing alongside a MolR plant and have attempted 12 crosses so far, with another one every few days. There are a few pods set, with the oldest at 14 days. This is my third attempt to get a runner / common cross with runner bean cytoplasm, with the other two failing. I planted another (GGC x MolR) x GGC and a MolR a couple weeks ago, so I think I have a pretty good chance of getting at least one seed. Aside from trying to move the bush trait to a runner bean, I'm hoping that I'll be able to use this line to make crosses from pure common beans without having to do the long process of crossing / back-crossing / cross with a runner seed parent.
Tepary Wide Cross Last winter, I had some (FPVC x MolR) x FPVC plants with extra flowers, so I tried pollinating them with tepary pollen. I got a shocking (and suspicious) 8 mature bean seeds. The first three that I grew out were definitely not real crosses. I have four more seeds planted and one seed left in storage that I'll grow out sometime later.
My guess was that my emasculation procedure wasn't perfect. I confirmed this guess by emasculating some flowers and then either pollinating or not pollinating the flowers based on a coin toss. Some of the "emasculated" flowers produced pods and mature beans. I repeated the experiment but with buds two days from flowering, and with an alcohol dip for my tweezers between emasculations, and didn't get any pods set. I was doing my crosses in the evening and I think that some pollen had already been released. I think I also spread that pollen between flowers by not sterilizing my tweezers.
So, I'm now doing an alcohol dip before starting to work on each new flower. I also switched my grow lights so they turn on at 7:00 in the evening. Since I'm making the crosses shortly after my kids are in bed for the night, I'll end up doing them in the plants' morning. I'll repeat the emasculation test to see if this is good enough.
If the seeds I recently planted aren't tepary crosses, I'm planning to discard them and plant...
Greasy Runner Bean I made some White Greasy Bean (WGrC) x MolR crosses this summer and have some seeds to work with. The goal is to breed a runner bean for use as a green bean that has smoother, less hairy pods. I'm also hoping that the WGrC doesn't have that anthocyanin gene. If they don't have the gene, I'm planning to use them in...
Non-antho Common Cytoplasm Line One of the plants that I was hoping had a tepary parent turned out to not have any anthocyanins. I saved some seeds from it and plan to use it in a congruent back-cross line that I'll use for a bunch of crossing attempts with teparies that have an antho gene. That way, I can use antho as a marker to confirm any cross that ends up being successful.
Blue Speckled Tepary x Menager's Dam Brown Tepary I had these two varieties growing and no other flowers, so I made a bunch of crosses and ended up with 20+ seeds. I'm growing out two plants and plan to let them self. They both have antho, so I've confirmed that they were good crosses. I'm planning to offer these F2 seeds for trade in a few month, along with a bunch of the F1 seeds.
Great work there Andy. I have a thought / suggestion for your wide tepary x runner crosses. I'm not sure which way you are doing the cross but if you are using the tepary as the pollen parent, there is a reasonable chance that the pollen will not grow that far down the much longer style of the runner. Had this discussion with a mate (whilst I was doing wild pea x field pea crosses) who had done alot of pollen germination studies as part of his PhD. I also found a paper that was reporting on interspecific bean crosses and showed almost 100% pollination of backcrosses using a combination of style cutting and in vitro pre-germinated pollen. In short, your tepary crosses still may not go, but maybe cutting your runner styles down to half or less and using the perhaps pre-germinated pollen off the stigma on the cut style might give you more of a chance. It will almost certainly help with your back crosses.
steve1 Thanks. I'm really having fun with the project(s) and I like the mix of success, near-success, and failures I'm having. Keeps it interesting.
That's a really good suggestion about applying pre-germinated pollen to cut styles. What I'm seeing with crosses using tepary pollen is completely consistent with poor pollen germination or slow/short pollen tube growth. I just did a few minutes of googling and came up with a paper talking about in-vitro peanut pollen germination. All of the chemicals appear to be readily available, so why not? No sterile technique required!
Andyb, Yes, not that hard to do - although I had some reasonable success with inter specific pea crosses just by using selfed pollen from the stigma. You will also be able to get some idea of how far the tepary pollen will grow just by cutting off a just self pollinated stigma and allowing it to grow through into the media. The other positive thing is it may remove any stigma related pollen germination incompatibility.
Good luck, let me know how it goes. I'll chat with my mate and see if he has a recipe for pollen germination that might be better for legumes.