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The 'blue' factor in tomatoes

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  • The 'blue' factor in tomatoes

    Just came across this

    http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...cf8ebc&t=38728

    It would appear that 'blue' tomatoes have a higher tendency to outcross than other tomatoes. As blue tomatoes are of course pretty new, this finding is also pretty recent. I have not seen any evidence of it myself yet, but I am on the lookout. Maybe if we want to save pure seeds in the vicinity of blue tomatoes (like in the same greenhouse), we may need to be careful and flower bag and label a flower truss and seed save from bagged tomatoes. I need to go back and see which tomatoes I had growing next to the blues. Obviously 'white' pale yellow tomatoes are especially at risk. Even though the results could be visually very attractive, with my pure line seed saver hat on it is necessary to know about potential problems.

    The writer goes further to say that there may be other influences beyond slightly higher cross pollination rates, but this is all up for further research. On fb at the moment they are looking for growers who wish to be involved in undertaking such research, specifically on the TaterMater fb group.


  • #2
    I've read a few of his posts, but I'm not really convinced by all that is being put forward. Bee crosses are always a possibility and likely more noticeable when an anthocyanin variety is involved. But some of the examples shown aren't necessarily indicating a crossed variety, many varieties naturally have anthocyanin present (though in lower levels than the 'blue' varieties) and the fruit/ leaf pigment can become more noticeable under some conditions, or at least that is what I've noticed over the years. Fruit colour can be more noticeable in some of the whites and yellows, the antho colour is faint, nothing like the intense blue-black. Also some plants do seem to reflect feeding deficiencies more readily than others and to my mind in the early stages leaves can look like they have some antho traits. I haven't experienced excessive crossings with antho varieties either but then I'm only growing out small numbers of saved seeds. It will be interesting to follow.

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    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for these additional comments. Yes I quite agree, usually after planting out we seem to get a cold spell and the plants are sulking - and that often means rolled up and purple foliage edges and all tomatoes do it and it has nothing to do with antho-contamination.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Just remembered one slightly odd fact about mixed tomatoes in a bowl together: If a very pale (white) tomato actually touches a red tomato for a couple of days, there will be a small hue of red where they were in contact with each other. I noticed this with Ivory Egg in particular. Now Ivory Egg can have a slightly pink core. (Incidentally I avoid saving seeds from Ivory Egg with pink cores because according to its name it should not be a bi-colour tomato). Maybe the tendency for colour inside is in some form related to the slight surface colour that develops when touching a red tomato. It could be that this is a far more striking occurrence with black/blue tomatoes in close proximity. Next time I grow a white and a blue tomato I will deliberately put harvested, ripe fruit next to each other for an observation experiment.
      Last edited by Galina; 06-02-2016, 07:56.

  • #3
    That is interesting, I'll keep a closer eye this year to see, though whites generally are my least favourite colour to grow. Sounds like a fun experiment

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