I was reading an article in an issue of a journal linked from the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog, about using crop wild relatives in potato breeding, and it mentioned a technique called mentor pollination. The basic idea is that you make a difficult interspecific cross and then, a couple days later, pollinate the same flower with pollen from the seed parent species, but with some obvious genetic marker like flower color. The pollen tubes from the first pollination have a head start, but some seeds develop from the second pollination. The seeds from the second pollination keep the fruit from aborting, giving those from the interspecific cross more time to develop.
It sounds like a pretty cool and simple technique.
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Jul 6, 2017 13:06:18 GMT -5
Yeah I've read something similar. Sounds like a good technique. Not sure if i read them with potatoes though, perhaps muy wild tomato breeding papers I've been reading. I feel like it could work with squash well. With some of the one way tomato crosses one paper said if they pollinated it 12 times and it failed to set a fruit they considered it a failed attempt. But that was without mentor pollen im pretty sure. But i feel like one paper mentioned that idea.
Seems like it would be most useful with something that has lots of seeds per fruiting body. Squash seem reasonable, with that in mind.
Declaring failure after only 12 attempts seems a little half-hearted, especially with tomatoes, which are pretty easy to cross. A lot of papers about interspecific bean crosses involve a hundred or more.