Category Archives: breeding

Potato: Genetics – The Basics

Last year, I put together a summary of potato color genetics and ever since I have been getting emails asking questions.  A lot of those questions center on how to use the information.  I’m happy to try to answer those questions to the best of my ability, because I think potato genetics are fun.  This […]

Ulluco: Color Genetics – A Familiar Beet

A quick review for those who have not been following our ulluco work: Ulluco is a crop that very rarely sets seed.  In fact, there are only two published reports of ulluco seed production: here and at the University of Turku in the early 1990s.  There is perhaps one published report of seed being found […]

Jerusalem Artichoke: True Seed Production

Some of the more frequent questions that people ask me center on obtaining seed from Jerusalem artichokes for breeding.  Many crops that are propagated from tubers have a reduced capability for sexual reproduction.  You will see this theme come up again and again in this blog, but the details differ from one species to another. […]

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 […]

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 […]

About My Potato Breeding Projects

Because we sell excess seed from my potato breeding projects, we get a lot of questions about what my goals are.  Those goals are sometimes hard to articulate because I haven’t thought through them as clearly as I have done for the other plants that I work with.  My work with potatoes goes back before […]

Yacon: Seedling Progress

Yacon plant variety OC-16-1Ux02x08

Last year, we grew two new yacon varieties from seed and also collected more than 1000 yacon seeds.  This year, after starting seeds in November, we have 132 yacon seedlings.  Because yacon is polyploid and an obligate outcrosser, each one of those seedlings will be a new variety.  That is, each variety must be pollinated […]