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Hooker’s Sweet Indian - and inbreeding depression

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  • Hooker’s Sweet Indian - and inbreeding depression

    Hooker’s Sweet Indian is miniature on all fronts, at least compared with any corn I’ve grown before. Even in the polytunnel it is only four to five feet tall. And the cobs are bijou - about five or six inches long - but quite plentifully produced. I picked the first cobs a couple of days ago at the stage where they are just beginning to colour. Beautifully sweet. Thank you, Triffid.

    I think you had some worries, Triffid, about the population size you saved seed from, as I did with Medzi. It seems that both have done very well. It raises interesting questions about inbreeding depression. Is it likely to show itself in future generations perhaps?

  • #2
    It is meant to be like that. Seed sources quote 4 and a half foot tall. https://territorialseed.com/products...12786042339427

    Comment


    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, sorry I wasn’t clear. It’s exactly as It’s meant to be. Just a bit of a novelty for me, and also others were finding that varieties exceeded their supposed height under cover, whereas HSI has kept very compact in the tunnel too.
      But also, because it seems to be growing so well, I raised the subject of inbreeding depression, ie. it’s not apparently showing any yet.

  • #3
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the flavour. I think the inbreeding depression phenomenon is cumulative. Based on what we've observed this year, one generation with a lower than ideal population is probably not going to have that much of a noticable effect on vigour. But keep selecting from only a few plants down multiple generations, and problems will arise.

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    • #4
      An interesting one, as just about all seed saving reports/information for corn reports huge loss of genetic diversity by not growing enough plants even if it is for one year. Will you be saving seed from any of these?

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      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, it's rather surprising.
        I still have (I think) quite a bit of the Medzi seed from 2019 (kept mainly in a freezer) which Triffid is growing. Very happy to send if you'd like some. And yes, I'll save Hooker's Sweet Indian seed - from about 40 plants - which I think should come true as it was later than my other varieties. It will be interesting to see whether the next saving from a less than optimum number of plants produces depressed results. Can share those too later, with anyone brave enough to try.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for your kind offer, but I don't think I could do them justice at the moment, too many projects are already on the go. Although, I'm looking forward to following the progress for them.

      • triffid
        triffid commented
        Editing a comment
        It's true that the genetic diversity loss would be immediate. Can only have as much diversity as the number of plants grown after all. But maybe that diversity loss is not all too apparent as inbreeding depression after one generation of 30-50 individual population, as the plants in the next crop are still unlikely to all be siblings.
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