Tatar Bread Plant: Seedling Variation

This seedling has deeply lobed leaves.

I have been working with Tartar Bread Plant (Crambe tataria) for a few years.  In my opinion, it has great potential as a sort of perennial mustard green.  I think perennial leaf crops are highly desirable; they often provide an earlier harvest than seed grown crops and can be a substantial labor savings.  Not much […]

Potato: A Cytoplasm Primer

A diagram of a plant cell, showing the major organelles and structural components.

If it has been a long time since high school biology and you are rusty on the concept of cytoplasm, you can be forgiven.  It’s not something that most of us think about very often, but it is important to potato breeding, so let’s review. Cytoplasm is everything that is inside a cell but outside […]

Potato: What You Should Know About Potato Fruits

Seven potato berries still attached to the plant, held in hand. The berries are light breen and slightly ovoid. They have prominent articulations.

Overview Potato plants sometimes flower and then form berries. Potato berries form only in favorable weather and with sufficient pollination. Potato berries contain seeds that you can grow. The berries are toxic and should not be eaten. There is not usually any reason to remove the berries from the plant. In 2017, many areas of […]

Potato: Color Genetics

A Summary of Potato Color Genetics Introduction Genes Controlling Color Pigments   Purple and Red   Yellow and Orange Color Distribution   Flower Color   Foliage Color Russeting Known Genotypes Introduction For many crops, you don’t have to search very far to find a nice summary chart of the major genes involved in economically important […]

Potato: A Summary of Wild Species and Their Qualities

This page is out of date, although I still find it useful for looking up synonyms and abbreviations.  For more detailed information about wild potato species, see our wild potato guide. This is one of those posts that is as much for my reference as anyone else’s.  Surprisingly, it is hard to find a simple […]

Potato: A Ploidy Primer

A micrograph showing two potato guard cells comprising a stomatum. The chloroplasts in each guard cell are marked. Six are present in one and seven in the other.

Introduction   How Seeds are Formed   Domesticated and Wild Potatoes   Ploidy   Monoploid and Haploid Numbers   Haploids Interactions of Ploidy in Crosses   Unreduced (2n) Gametes   Endosperm Ratio   Endosperm Balance Number   A Final Note on Probability Determining Ploidy   Morphological Evalutation   Guard Cell Counts   Chromosome Counts More […]

Mashua: Seed Maturity and Germination

In theory, mashua is easier to breed than many of the other Andean roots and tubers.  It has no incompatibility mechanisms, it self-pollinates easily, and most varieties flower abundantly and set lots of seed in a sufficiently long growing season.  The flowers are large and easy to emasculate in order to make crosses.  The only […]

Yacon: Flower Diversity in Seedlings

If you have been following the blog, you know that we were lucky enough to get more than 130 yacon seedlings this year, from seed collected from four varieties last year.  Very few people have grown yacon from seed, so we didn’t really know what to expect and we still won’t be able to get […]