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How to record breeding line progress?

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  • How to record breeding line progress?

    I've been making a list of the pea crosses I've made (can't believe I got so carried away ) and I'm wondering how best to follow progress over the generations. I've made a table for the F1's but from F2 onward it becomes harder with more lines to follow. I'm thinking to just have an overall master F1 table and then to give each cross it's own table to note the lines or mixes? Any ideas or tried and trusted ways? I'd like to use the same basic format for other veggies too.

  • #2
    That is a very timely discussion to which I would dearly like an answer. It would be good to put our heads together and to develop an answer. What is definitely needed is year of growing and what generation it is, F1 to whatever. But there will come a time around F2 or F3 when rapid selection begins and not so many types remain and therefore not so many types need labelling. Certainly in the F2 generation each individual plant could benefit from its own identifier. I had a yellow snap from CEGxAmish Snap in the F2. I think at this stage I should give it a name (say Golden Snap). Next year my plants would be labelled GS F3/1, GS F3/2 etc. The types I am not interested in following up would not get a name. But there may be a much better way of doing it. Any GS plants that are not to type would not be continued with (apart from a small sample of seed in the freezer). At that point it gets tricky GS F4 3/1 (from F3 plant 3 the first plant) then GS F4 3/2 and so on.

    But what about if I wanted to grow all the GS in a bunch, rather than individual plants? 2015 GS F3, with a note in my database on the computer that GS corresponds to CEGxAmish Snap F2/4 in 2014. I would only select true-to-types, which would become 2016 GS F4. Their individual markers would be lost, but does it actually matter? Since they all came from the same cross?

    I think that once a characteristic is selected in the F2 or F3 generation, they can be grown in a bunch. Or am I being lazy here and would miss out?


    • #3
      This is what I've decided on so far for my F1' master table (I've just copied part of the crosses) very much open to a better way to do it?

      Elisabeth x Purple pod just has the date the cross was made in brackets, growing date to be added as they happen. EPP will be the start of code for following F2+ generations or when distinct types noted in F1 (eg unstable crosses)

      Probably EPP1-F2 or EPP1-F215, first number for the individual vine and assuming the F2 were grown in 2015.

      I grew a mix of Elisabeth x Llanover this year and will probably list them in a family table as EL- F214 mixed.

      Breeding and Year grown Purpose Genes Growth/ leaf Flowers Pods Peas/ Seeds
      Elisabeth x Llanover
      EL (2012) 2013
      Tall, pink flowered sweet
      wrinkly pea
      2 vines both tall growing Purple/ maroon Once dried two types noted,
      one parchment and one semi?
      Diverse seed types, white, speckles,
      green, browns. Round to wrinkly types.
      Elisabeth x Purple podded
      EPP (2014)
      *Wanted pink flowered
      purple podded, but settle
      for pink pink
      Elisabeth x Pink
      Crown type (F2) EPC (2013) 2014
      Looking for pink flowered
      in F1. Generally pink flowering peas
      Medium to tall vines Salmon pink
      Last edited by jayb; 11-11-2014, 09:16.


      • #4
        Finding and reading Alan Kapuler's blog recently, I note that he distinguishes between landrace and grex breeding and where grex breeding is concerned (ie multiple intentional crossing) he does not use F1, F2 etc for the description of generations, but he uses G1, G2 etc. He does however note that this system makes not much sense either in a setting where for example G2 and G4 can freely cross (or be crossed) again and the resulting 'G5' isn't really G5 but anything. Similarly the grex siblings also will have been mixing (or been crossed further) in all the years up to G5 too, especially with outbreeders It makes a generation definition almost impossible. And it takes a long time until a more stable 'type' or 'types' emerge.

        By comparison Joseph Lofthouse breeds by intentionally introducing new varieties with new traits on an ongoing basis. If they are not suitable to his conditions they will be rogued, because they make less successful plants as they are. Or they are less successful plants if their pollen gets mixed with his other plants. He only introduces a small amount of new traits in at any one time, to keep undesirable outcomes to a minimum.

        From what I gather, Tom Wagner follows yet another plan. He crosses varieties with known flavour, beauty and disease resistance genes and offers seed from early grexes after a most basic selection, with the intention of many growers in many different locations being able to benefit by selecting their own types. The F1 etc system can be used for his breeding - somewhat. It must be understood though that an F4 in his place is different from an F4 elsewhere, and that each plant within his (and others) F4s is different from its sibling. Selection to the best is necessary and different people's final selections will look very different indeed. A generation denominators makes more sense than an actual 'name'.

        It is difficult enough to describe what happens when you cross a with b once, and what you call the offspring. When we have multiple outcrossing, it gets really complicated. Multiply outcrossed could actually be very adapted to a certain location only, or the exact opposite, ie uniquely capable of adaptation to a new location. There is no easy shorthand to say which is which.

        In traditional breeding, making a cross (and then preventing further accidental crosses), the F1 etc system gives a good indication - by F10 a new stable variety should have emerged in most cases. With all other types of breeding, we must accept that there is no convenient shorthand, perhaps beyond stating whether the final aim is a mixture that requires further genetic material to be added from time to time, or a new 'variety', even if that variety is very broadly based, like the Alan Kapuler's pea and corn varieties for example.
        Last edited by Galina; 17-02-2015, 22:22.


        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          You've given me lots to think about.

      • #5
        Sorry this was a long ramble, almost like explaining to myself what different people are trying to achieve by writing it down. Jayb, you wanted comments on your system and I am struggling with the same issues myself. Naming early helps somewhat (but it is really only worth for lines we want to continue with), then numbers and traits to mark generations and desirable segregations. I like photo references too as a nice shorthand and reminder to traits observed and your photos are always superb. I still believe that individual plants of interest need to be somehow labelled individually (if it is traditional breeding rather than 'landrace/grex' breeding).


        • #6

          Here is Rebsie Fairholm's recording system for her pea breeding.


          • #7
            Nice. Lots of detail for the different lines.


            • #8
              I would have never been able to observe to those sort of standards. I don't think I would trust my eyes to distinguish between different purple flowers, would always assume differences were a trick of the light or shade or changes due to the age of the flowers, that sort of thing. It takes something obvious like 'redder Elisabeth' to catch my attention,

              However, and this is an aside, I was really surprised just how many single flowers/pods she observed. Do we know anything about the genetics of single/double flowering?


              • #9
                I don't think I'd be able to pick out that much detail either, some things are just so similar or just have such subtle differences!

                Do we know anything about the genetics of single/double flowering?
                I don't, only the little bits I've come across which doesn't amount to much. Silverleaf would be the one to ask.
                I've pencilled in to grow some 2+ podded varieties, hopefully this year.


                • #10
                  More than 2 pods? Crown peas? Or are there varieties with more than 2 that aren't crown peas? Intrigued
                  I looked on the JI pisum database under pods - number, but the only genes mentioned are about waxiness of pods, nothing about numbers of pods. Have asked a question about it and let you know about any answers.


                  • #11
                    I am seriously indulging into 'thread drift' now, but got fascinated by the idea of more than 2 pods and looked at the 'seedstor' JIC page, which allows such searches. And yes there are a ten peas listed (not crown peas), with 3 pods per node:



                    • Galina
                      Galina commented
                      Editing a comment
                      We have been discussing peas with 3 pods on A4A. for example on July 13, 2010, when Jeannine told us:
                      ...... the triple ones I mentioned are

                      Triple Treat ( has been known to produce quads)

                      I had totally forgotten about this discussion.

                  • #12
                    I think the ones I have are able to throw some of 3 per node. Will have a check.


                    • #13
                      Yes it was Jeannine's posts that got me interested and I've kept my eyes open for Triple Treat for a few years although it seems they are only really available in Canada, I would have loved to have tried some.