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Re: [nafex] ??? - Ed's comments (apple post)

Fluffy Bunny wrote:

> Ed wrote:
>     Yes, there have been several studies which imply validity of the
> above.
> Unfortunately, until very recently, many seedlings which germinated late
> were
> discarded as being weak growers, non vigorous, etc.
>      If folks down south wanted low-chill and high quality, you might
> think
> about crossing Sundowner x GoldRush.
>      Just a thought.
> My reply:
> Hmmmm...
> Okay so here is the thought.
> In previous posts you have stated with a certain level of affirmation
> that apples are very "inbred", so inbred that in general, all the talk of
> germ plasm preservation is relatively futile in regard to the "apple".
> After conducting a minor analysis I would agree with your supposition.
> That being said I am now trying to imagine the reason you would have for
> choosing superior parents in the first place.   Based on the genetic
> combination possible for the apple(I can't remember the number of
> combinations but it was significantly greater than that of a pear)I have
> having a hard time imagining that the odds come out better than random
> chance of the combinations in the first place.
> Another way to say this is outside of the "crab" disease resistance
> characteristics that all the modern disease resistant varieties seem to
> have in their lineage, I am having difficulty imagining that selecting
> the parents would produce an outcome greater than just allowing recessive
> and latent genetic patterns come forth naturally.   In other words it
> seems that the chances of a success are something in the magnitude if 1
> in 7500 or so(my computer was wiped out over the weekend so I lost my
> actual data), which approximates that of chance.
> So, I have to ask Ed(or anyone else), do you actually think their is any
> merit in actually selecting the parents for apples in breeding programs;
> or is it another case of giving the participants the "warm and fuzzies"?

     My response-------

     Depends on a stated purpose.  IN line with your reasoning, you are
correct or heretofore, the chances of coming up with a superior apple are
about the same if selected from natural hybrids (seedlings of unknown
parents) vs deliberate selection of parents.
     However, one must assume that the hybridization process (plant breeding
in general) will eventually teach us something!!! (Sorry, I can't give
justification---------war is still an ongoing and unique human activity!).
     In a personal sense, THE foremost reason why I justified my involvement
in MAIA (look at Purdue's NewCrop Web site for more info---subtle spam!!) was
simply to use it as a vehicle to learning and/or education.  Or, this effort
will get more folks involved and hopefully the simple process will be a tool
for horticulture learning and nondestructive activity for everyone including
     Will we get new and better apples?  Who knows.  And that, in itself, may
not matter at all.  You must keep in mind that there are reasons why
"everyone eats at McDonalds"!!!!

     Specifically to the reference to my recommendation of crossing Sundowner
x GoldRush for southern areas.  Given the know genetic packages, these two
collectively contain some of the best possibilities.  Or, the simple
suggestion may inspire someone to do this, which may lend to educational
activity.  Personally, I think Lady Williams x GoldRush may be a better
choice (LW requires even less chill and is more productive than Sundowner),
but LW pollen is not widely available.
     Personally, I'd love to see folks down south (and everywhere) plant
seedlings of superior maternal parents of asian pear and observe them for
some 12-15 years.

     Anyways, Kev, I'd not take my comments too seriously.  After all, I am
an admitted KornFlake and luvin' it.

Ed, So. Indiana, heaven, etc.