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Preparations for getting TPS

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  • Preparations for getting TPS

    Just signed up to this forum because I've become really interested in growing potatoes from TPS - and especially also in making new crosses.

    I'm really interested in the blue and the red potatoes which I wasn't really aware of until recently. One of the things I'd like to do is crossing Vitelotte noire (not Violetta), which is apparently a really old French variety and a bit of an outlier genetically compared to other common European varieties. It doesn't have blight resistance, so I'd like to cross it to one of the Sarpo varieties. Tuberisation seems to happen a bit late too (prob not fully day length neutral), and I found it a bit floury compared to my Anya potatoes, so maybe those are things that could be improved too.

    One of the things I've been wondering about is how you ensure that parental potato plants are flowering at the same time so that you can cross them. Do you rely on potato plants of different varieties flowering at the same time, perhaps synchronised by weather conditions? Do you use successional planting, say plant some every week so that even if they take a different time to flower, there will still be overlap ? Is it possible to store pollen for some time?

  • #2
    Interesting post, I haven't grown Vitelotte for a few years, but similarly found it on the late side to crop (plus the crops were somewhat too floury for my tastes) Sarpo Mira I think has the best LB resistance of the Sarpo's I've grown and is quite easy to work with although depending on the season flowering can be quite short. Flowering I find a bit hit and miss but usually earlies flower together, mains together etc, with a little leeway either way. I usually try and plant mine as close together time wise as I can but I'd have thought planting a week or two earlier and later should cover bases.

    I've not tried it but I believe pollen can indeed be harvested and kept refrigerated for later use.

    Along the same line, I wonder if introducing an earlier element to a Vitlotte cross, may also pay dividends, by producing an earlier blue cropper and avoiding the worst of LB season?

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    • #3
      Welcome Thickening the plot. Very unusual screen name. The plot thickens - making the plot thicken = thickening the plot? What is the plot? a physical space to grow and/or making a concept 'grow'. Intriguing indeed.

      I have grown Vitelotte once - too dark to find in the soil, way too late, low harvest weight and did not like the flavour. Can't say I remember them flowering either, but I have a very patchy history with producing tps or getting potatoes to flower at all. Interesting to use them as breeding material for making crosses. The administrator is far more knowledgeable and there are several very useful posts here about crossing and producing tps.

      Is there a flowering time for potatoes or is flowering time spread out that overlaps aren't a difficulty. Looking at tomatoes there is never a flower overlap problem between the earliest and the latest varieties. Are potatoes much tighter in their flowering? Are there any statistic about days to flowering from planting tubers? Sowing tps? Just thinking aloud really, but several of our early potatoes are not early in the sense that their foliage perishes early. For example the early Jersey Royals (International Kidney as they are called outside of Jersey) can be left to grow to a much more floury maincrop. Others do wilt early. If I wanted to cross anything with Swift (do they ever flower?) I would probably need to plant them later. Are there flowering date look-up tables? Or should we start making our own as a tool for tps breeding?

      Again, welcome! Looking forward to reading your posts.







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      • #4
        Thanks for the welcome! I couldn't think of a username that made sense so it's gardening-related non-sense instead.


        Originally posted by Admin View Post
        Flowering I find a bit hit and miss but usually earlies flower together, mains together etc, with a little leeway either way. I usually try and plant mine as close together time wise as I can but I'd have thought planting a week or two earlier and later should cover bases.
        That's good to know. Tbh I haven't really grown Vitelotte before - I planted some very small ones I got off ebay in August, but that came to nothing obviously. But then I discovered some on the veg market a few weeks ago.
        As far as I know, flowering and the beginning of tuberisation tend to co-incide, and if earlies usually flower together and maincrop flower together that would support this. So I assume that Vitelotte would tend to flower unusually late, since it takes such a long time to crop.


        Originally posted by Admin View Post
        Along the same line, I wonder if introducing an earlier element to a Vitlotte cross, may also pay dividends, by producing an earlier blue cropper and avoiding the worst of LB season?
        That's an excellent idea - perhaps Kifli would be a good choice? It's got the Sarpo blight resistance, it's a waxy potato, and it's early maincrop. I've been wondering about appropriate selection methods for different traits as well, that would allow me to test a reasonably large number of plants. Perhaps rootrainer modules could be used for this. Basically the TPS would be started off in rootrainers and grown for a couple of months or so using a grow lamp that's on for 10-12 hours a day. Day length-neutral plants should start forming tubers, so the rootrainers could be opened to check. All those with small blue tubers could then be planted out and the others discarded.

        Originally posted by Galina View Post
        I have grown Vitelotte once - too dark to find in the soil, way too late, low harvest weight and did not like the flavour. Can't say I remember them flowering either, but I have a very patchy history with producing tps or getting potatoes to flower at all. Interesting to use them as breeding material for making crosses.
        I found them a bit floury but I liked the taste and esp the colour. But one of the reasons I think they might be interesting breeding material is that they seem to be derived from very early potatoes that got to Europe, and are quite different genetically from other varieties. So I think they might have some really interesting genes in their tetraploid background that have been lost from modern varieties and that will become apparent when crossed. Just a guess obviously, I can't say I understand potato genetics/breeding.


        Actually I found something pretty interesting in the Amateur Potato Breeder’s manual, linked to in one of the other forums (page 20):
        Grafting potato scions on to tomato rootstocks is a technique for producing very large numbers of true seeds of potato.
        Selected potato scions can be grafted on to tomato rootstocks to induce flowering. Being unable to form tubers, the potato scion grows upwards as a vine, with a bunch of flowers every few inches. These flowers can be used for controlled crosspollination.
        One good graft can produce up to fifty fruits, with up to 300 seeds per fruit, totalling some 15,000 true seeds.
        If I understand this right, the flowers are produced as the grafted potato grows, so over quite a long period of time, pretty much like a tomato plant would. I'd expect the flowering period to overlap even if grafted from different potato varieties.

        Edit: I tried to add a link to that manual, but it doesn't seem to work - this is the URL: http://sharebooks.com/system/files/P...ers-Manual.pdf
        Last edited by Thickening the plot; 07-01-2016, 17:57.

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        • #5
          Thank you, the url worked fine, no problem to scroll to the page and read. But you had summarised the salient points anyway. I wonder whether this might induce a non-flowering potato to produce flowers? And a difficult berry setter to produce lots of berries?

          Admin has done the reverse - grafted tomatoes onto potato rootstock for double harvest from a single grafted plant. Will read more later, very interesting reference.

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          • #6
            http://www.plantbreeding.wur.nl/pota...E&or=crosscomb

            Vitelotte is a very old potato indeed and there hasn't been much breeding with it apart from one offspring called Negresse, which is a rather unfortunate name. But it proves that the variety is capable for breeding.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Galina View Post
              Admin has done the reverse - grafted tomatoes onto potato rootstock for double harvest from a single grafted plant.
              Great idea - and would be wonderfully complementary to this: cut your tomato and potato plantlets in half, graft the potato scions onto tomato rootstock for potato berries, and graft the tomato scions onto potato rootstock to harvest tomatoes and potato tubers! No need to throw any plant material away.

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              • Galina
                Galina commented
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            • #8
              Thickening the plot, have just seen on facebook that David Lieven has done the cross you are interested in Vitelotte x Sarpo Mira
              https://www.facebook.com/groups/3884...oup_highlights
              (30 january at 19.36 original post by Jose Antoine - not sure you can see this if you are not a group member)
              and he is selling tps of all of his Sarpo crosses as a mixed bag of tps.
              https://www.vreeken.nl/001027-aardappel-sarpo-surprise
              I know you want to do the crosses yourself, just thought that you and other readers might perhaps also be interested in going forward with Sarpo cross tps and selecting own new Sarpo varieties..
              Last edited by Galina; 05-02-2016, 09:20.

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