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Hazards or benifits from cross pollination of tobacco plant varietys.

BarG

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#1
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]
 
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deluxestogie

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#2
I'll take a crack at this subject.

If you look at pure-bred dogs, each variety (all the same species) have distinctive, recognizable features. If pure-bred dogs are allowed to breed with other varieties, the mongrels of subsequent generations will look more and more like the progenitors of wild dogs. If you later decide to breed two mongrels (nice looking ones, of course) with each other, you are not likely to produce what you expect.

There is a phenomenon known as hybrid vigor. It refers to the observation that both plants and animals will show healthier individuals and greater fertility when isolated varieties are crossed with other varieties. Hybrid vigor seems to fade by the third or fourth generation following the "out-cross."

So, if you don't care about specific, predictable attributes of the tobacco you grow, you can allow (or cause) several varieties to cross, and be fairly certain that the vigor of the resultant generation will be improved. BUT as F1 hybrids, subsequent generations may not breed true. Developing a stable new hybrid (one that breeds true) often requires 5 to 7 or more generations of selection and "back-crossing."

Bob

EDIT: There is one other curiosity here. The genes that determine many metabolic processes are found only in the mitochondria. What this means is that those particular genes are inherited ONLY FROM THE FEMALE. In tobacco plants, the pollen is from the male, so the female is always the plant on which the seed develops. If you cross variety A with variety B, those offspring produced within the seed pods of A (using pollen from B) will be different from those produced within the seed pods of B (using pollen from A).
 
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BarG

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#3
You may be too modest Bob, I believe you hit that one out of the ball park. I was following the discussion on white burly which made me wonder what if? I will take my time to digest your explanation for a while, ...... [take a crash course in botany:)]........
which is in easy to understand laymans terms and makes sense. I,m sure it happens inadvertantly or on purpose but [don't expect future generations of cross bred seeds to maintain desired traits? still digesting....] Thank you , this is the first explanation I've seen on the subject, relating to tobacco.

BarG
 

deluxestogie

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#4
That's the problem with saving vegetable seeds from "F1 Hybrid" plants. They don't produce seed that is true to type. You'll notice that most commercial veggie seed consists of F1 Hybrid (usually clearly marked on the seed packet). If they sold only heirloom veggie seed, you could simply harvest your first seed crop and never buy any more seed from them. (Better for you, but not so good for them.)

Bob
 

BarG

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#5
I wish I could tell that from the veggies I buy in the supermarket. I tried some pablano seeds from a supermarket pepper knowing [not labeled] it was a 99% probability it was a hybrid, a few seeds germinated and out of those one would flower but that was it. The seeds I buy are from bulk 50lb. bags and distributed to seed bins from local feed supply. I rarely see original labeling. I do have some old seed catalogues [will need to double check if they actualy have any heirloom varietys]. [I'll be D...Ed if I know why I put these things off?]. If they don't I'll just have to try to find one that does.

BarG

edit:Just ordered my heirloom beefsteak tomatoes,pablano and jalapeno,roma bush bean, and black diamond seeds for starters, at comparable price as I usualy pay.
 

BarG

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#6
Hey Bob, Are you going to intentionaly try to cross any thing this year , for experimental purposes.
 

deluxestogie

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#7
Yes. I'll be crossing
  • Mt. Pima x Little Dutch (unknown x tabacum)
  • Mt. Pima x Cornplanter (unknown x rustica)
  • Papante x Little Dutch (unknown x tabacum)
  • Papante x Cornplanter (unknown x rustica)
  • Little Dutch x Cornplanter (tabacum x rustica)
Crosses will be done in both directions. This is to clarify the species of Mt. Pima and Papante, which seem to be frequently categorized as N. rustica, even though they seem phentypically to be N. tabacum. I believe this mis-categorization stems from the fact that they were cultivated for eons by Indians in the mountains of north-west Mexico. The fallacy is "Indian = rustica".

Bob
 

BarG

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#8
Hey Bob, I imagined you would cross breed tobacco, the expectations and intended results are hard to imagine for me. I would be interested to see your opinion of the results if your study pans out the way you suspect.
 

wazzappenning

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#9
ok i know im probably waaaaayy off and i dont know much about cross breeding plants. i know they genetically engineer plants like tomatoes crossed with some type of fish,(to keep the bugs away i think) but can pollen do any of this? phillip morris puts their additives out there for the average joe to see. as far as marlboro, there is chocolate and vanilla added. if any of these produce flowers, could cross pollenation give you a different flavor. please dont laugh, im not a botanist.

i know theyre different species, but... my brother told me about his friend that owned a cabbit. apparently a cross between a cat and a rabbit. he said it looked right, (the front end looked like a cat, the rear was curled under like a rabitt and had a rabbits tail). i told him it didnt make sense. theyre different species. you cant mix a marsupial with a feline. i dunno
 

deluxestogie

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#10
Most attempted crosses between species of plants do not produce seed, though it rarely happens. If seed is produced in an interspecies cross, it often does not germinate. If it should germinate, chances are good that it will be infertile. Different species of tobacco cross only rarely. The underlying problem is that different species often have different numbers of chromosomes, so the offspring have really screwy DNA.

Chocolate comes from the Cacao tree. Vanilla from a parasitic orchid. Not much chance there.

Bob
 

johnlee1933

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#11
There is one other curiosity here. The genes that determine many metabolic processes are found only in the mitochondria. What this means is that those particular genes are inherited ONLY FROM THE FEMALE. In tobacco plants, the pollen is from the male, so the female is always the plant on which the seed develops. If you cross variety A with variety B, those offspring produced within the seed pods of A (using pollen from B) will be different from those produced within the seed pods of B (using pollen from A).
I guess my train missed a switch back there a ways. I thought tobacco plants were hermaphroditic.
Here you mention male and female. Where did I jump the track?

Thanks,
John
 

deluxestogie

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#12
In a blossom, the pistil contains the ova (which have to be fertilized), and the stamen produce the pollen (which will fertilize the ova). Both are found within the same blossom. If isolated (bagged), then a single blossom will fertilize itself--that is, its own pollen will fertilize its own ova.



In deliberate crossing, you establish an isolated female by manually opening the blossom a day or two before it would naturally open, and physically removing the stamen (I believe there are exactly 5 per blossom.), leaving only the pistil in the center. The female-only blossom is then sealed with some paper masking tape. The intended male contributor is obtained by using the pollen from a different variety plant, and transferred on, say, a camel hair brush, to the female-only blossom, which is then resealed until the blossom falls off the developing seed pod.

To produce crosses in both directions (female A and male B, as well as female B and male A), you perform the same approach with each variety. Some of the metabolic determinant genes--contained within the mitochondria--will stay with the female (the plant producing the seed) for each cross.

It might be interesting to do both crosses between two dramatically different variety conformations. For example, crossing in both directions between Big Gem and Little Dutch, might demonstrate if the short short stalk, close node spacing and long, narrow leaves of Little Dutch remain with the female parent Little Dutch. Would "Little Gem" develop on the Little Dutch female, and "Big Dutch" appear on the Big Gem female, or would it not matter much? Making a taller, wider-leafed tobacco with the smoking qualities of Little Dutch would be a boon.

I still worry about the need to have ready blossoms simultaneously on two different varieties. Last season, the blossom time varied as much as a month between the earliest varieties and the latest. This may be mitigated by the long flowering time of some of the varieties.

Bob
 
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Chicken

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#14
very good info, in this thread on how a baccy plant pollenates itself,,,,

i had no clue,,,,

deluxe stogie,,,,,, is the man for any technical questions,
 

BarG

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#15
There seems to be a general concensus on Bob's last post. I also was impressed with that info. I had to find pics of pistols and stamen so I'd know the difference.
 

deluxestogie

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#16
I've added a diagram to my previous post. I should point out that only "self-fertile" plants can pollinate themselves. This, of course, includes tobacco.

Bob
 

johnlee1933

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#17
It is fairly well known that if you have cut lilies in the house they will last longer if you cutoff the stamen. A homemaker was doing the for some floating lilies on the table. Her girlfriend came and asked what she was doing. It was explained and she said, "Ah Ha, gelding the lily."
 

workhorse_01

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#18
Johnlee, What do you think i'd get if i polinated a tobacco flower (-the tobacco stamen) with a tangelo stamen ? Do you think the next plant would have a citrus flavor ? or aroma ?
 

johnlee1933

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#19
Johnlee, What do you think i'd get if i polinated a tobacco flower (-the tobacco stamen) with a tangelo stamen ? Do you think the next plant would have a citrus flavor ? or aroma ?
I'm not sure but if you do stamen to stamen it'll sure as hell be gay.

Stamen to pistil I don't believe you'd get a cross but Delux is the guy to ask.

John
 
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deluxestogie

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#20
Can you make a tangelobacco? (Or would that be tobangelo?)

Probably not, as Chicken has surmised. The simplest definition of a plant or animal species is a group of organisms that can regularly interbreed to produce fertile offspring. The greater the difference between species, the greater the incompatibility of their chromosomes. It's kind of like trying to fit an Abrams tank tread on a child's tricycle. Nothing matches. Nothing lines-up.

Even very similar species seldom interbreed to form viable offspring (chimp vs. human --> wrong number of chromosomes) (horse vs. donkey --> wrong number of chromosomes --> sterile offspring [mule]).

N. tabacum inefficiently interbreeds with N. rustica, and only in one direction. For tobacco, the petunia is a closer relative than a citrus tree, but petunia and tobacco never cross (that I know of).

Bob
 
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