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  1. #51
    Administrator deluxestogie's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Levi Gross View Post
    ...do I need to worry about my seed production over time degenerating and producing less favorable plants or becoming weak or infertile
    Short answer: No

    If you properly bag your seed heads, allow them to fully mature, dry them completely (usually indoors) prior to collecting the seed, and store the seed in a cool and dry container, then the seed will remain viable for up to 10 years or more. The seed should always produce the same plants with the same vigor (assuming they were pure strain varieties to begin with).

    The old tobacco literature (19th century and early 20th century) commonly discusses the observation that new tobacco varieties tend, over a period of a few years, to resemble older, local varieties, suggesting that new seed would need to be imported every year or two. This was all written before any attention was paid to Mendelian genetics. What was actually being observed was the effect of cross-pollination with other local varieties, since the seed heads were not systematically bagged.

    So, bag them, and store the seed well, and you will produce the same tobacco for years.

    Bob

  2. #52
    Senior Member Levi Gross's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    Quote Originally Posted by deluxestogie View Post
    Short answer: No

    If you properly bag your seed heads, allow them to fully mature, dry them completely (usually indoors) prior to collecting the seed, and store the seed in a cool and dry container, then the seed will remain viable for up to 10 years or more. The seed should always produce the same plants with the same vigor (assuming they were pure strain varieties to begin with).

    The old tobacco literature (19th century and early 20th century) commonly discusses the observation that new tobacco varieties tend, over a period of a few years, to resemble older, local varieties, suggesting that new seed would need to be imported every year or two. This was all written before any attention was paid to Mendelian genetics. What was actually being observed was the effect of cross-pollination with other local varieties, since the seed heads were not systematically bagged.

    So, bag them, and store the seed well, and you will produce the same tobacco for years.

    Bob
    Thank you I will take the proper measures to get good results

  3. #53
    Senior Member Smokin Harley's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarG View Post
    Curiosity prompted this thread. I understand the importance of maintaining a pure strain of heirloom varietys. That needs no emphasis for me personaly. What are the documented results from past records to indicate detrimental or positive effects from intentional cross pollination of tobacco in studys or plant grafting.

    BarG

    [Edit: plant splicing to plant grafting. It was on the tip of my tongue but couldn't spit it out]
    Cigar Aficianado from last fall (im thinking it was Octoberish, actress Maggie Siff is on the cover) has a nice article of how tobacco ,especially "lost" heirloom varieties are being bred with the current disease resistant ones to bring back that old world tobacco flavor without compromising their disease resistance.
    Their vault of seed is kept at 39 degrees F,double locked protected by fire doors.
    Basically and in paraphrase - they take the heirloom mother side of their intentional cross and cross it with the disease resistant one they choose. Take the 100 offspring of that and cross it back to the mother plant for another 100 plants , and then once again 50 more . By then the result has the disease resistance yet retains the flavor of the parent plant. Its a good article , find it online im sure .
    "We make our own Whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys cain't do..." -A Country Boy Can Survive ,Hank Williams Jr.

    Entubado...its how I roll

  4. #54
    Administrator deluxestogie's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    It's worth keeping in mind that during the multiple years of intentional crossing and back-crossing, the resulting plants must be grown in soil infested with the disease for which resistance is being selected, and those that appear resistant must be fermented, aged and then evaluated in a taste comparison with the original heirloom whose characteristics are desired. Productivity of the final selections must also be evaluated. The process takes about 7 years or so to complete, and is expensive, labor intensive, and requires access to specific growing areas as well as resistant strains.

    It can certainly be accomplished, and has been done repeatedly over the past century. The purpose of the USDA "Agricultural Explorers" back in the 1930s was to scour the remote regions of the world for tobacco and vegetable varieties that might possess resistance genes to various plant diseases.

    If I were to undertake just a single such project of intentional crossing, in order to achieve resistance to a single disease, it would essentially consume my entire tobacco growing effort for many consecutive years, and produce hundreds of pounds of less than desirable tobacco. That latter comment is based on the reality that many of the varieties known to already have resistance to specific diseases are not the varieties of tobacco that I would enjoy smoking.

    Bob

  5. #55
    Senior Member Levi Gross's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    It seems to me that one would really have to take several contributing factors to mind when undertaking such a long and complicated task. I could see doing these things out of absolute necessity to preserve, improve, or even overcome some major problem but just to do it. Well, I'd say one must be very rich and has the time to do whatever he pleases. I am afforded neither luxury. However, I do find this information very interesting and noteworthy.

  6. #56
    Moderator ChinaVoodoo's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    The complex breeding programs which produced modern cultivars are like we've discussed, involving a lot of multi year selections and back crosses for stability. Usually, done with specific goals in mind. Disease resistance being the main reason.

    Let's suppose your only goal was to make something "different", don't you think a simple grow of 10 to 20 plants, selecting seed from the most desirable plant every year for 7 years would result in a stable cross?
    Now all them things that seemed so important, well mister they vanished right into the air - The Boss

  7. #57
    Administrator deluxestogie's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    You've got to start selfing the satisfactory variant, and continue selection and selfing for several years, before the heterozygosity approaches zero.

    Bob

  8. #58
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    Quote Originally Posted by deluxestogie View Post
    You've got to start selfing the satisfactory variant, and continue selection and selfing for several years, before the heterozygosity approaches zero.

    Bob
    I read that as you agree that if you had no practical purpose for the cross, that stabilizing it wouldn't be complicated but would take time.
    Now all them things that seemed so important, well mister they vanished right into the air - The Boss

  9. #59
    Administrator deluxestogie's Avatar
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    Re: Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

    Correct. If you self a hybrid for enough generations, while simultaneously weeding out the specimens that diverge from your planned outcome, then you tend to eliminate the heterozygous alleles. So, for example, if 3 of those heterozygous genes are Aa, Bb and Cc (Cap = dominant; lower case = recessive), repeated selfing tends toward AA or aa, BB or bb and CC or cc. Which of these, and which combination of those three homozygous genes, will be selected by your own selection criteria of their phenotype: e.g. "I like the big, thick-leaf one that cures to black."

    If disease resistance is on your list of criteria, then you need a basis for saying which exemplars are resistant or not resistant. But, for a beauty contest, just as with selecting tomatoes for durable shipping characteristics, you just keep on selecting for your criteria, until selfing is stable from one generation to the next. Typically, this takes 5 to 7 generations, with selection.

    In practical tobacco terms, the Piloto Cubano (Puerto Rico) that I grew last year produced tall plants with longer, narrower leaves, as well as somewhat shorter plants with wider leaves. That seed batch was probably not a stable variety. (i.e. the seed had been collected from a plant--or several generations of plants--in Puerto Rico that had been exposed to pollen from some other variety.) I've decided to select for the shorter plant, larger leaf, in my growing of it in the future. I expect that to require at least a few generations to complete.

    Bob

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