The Micro-Tomato Project — F2 plants

Several months ago I planted the F1 seeds, the original seeds from the cross I made last summer, of Chibikko x Green Zebra and Chibikko x Sungold F1.  As expected the F1 fruit is small and red.  In the picture below you can see the difference between the crosses.  The growth habits of the plants were also distinctly different.  The Green Zebra cross has small clusters of 4-5 fruits and the Sungold cross had the long trusses of 15-20 fruits like it’s father. Genetics is fun!  🙂

Fruit from 2 different crosses.  The shape and size of each is distinctly different.

Fruit from 2 different crosses. The shape and size of each is distinctly different.

We didn’t taste them since the plants were grown inside during the winter which typically produces bland mealy fruit.  Besides, the F1 is not what I’m interested in since those seeds have to be generated every year.  I harvested several hundred seeds from the F1 fruit which are F2 seeds.  Now is where the fun starts!

I sowed 40 F2 seeds in a flat of small pots.   One fourth of them should be dwarf plants if it’s a single gene trait.  Here is an example of what a dwarf tomato looks like at the first set of true leaves.  The two outer plants look like dwarf to me!

Chibikko x Green Zebra F2

Chibikko x Green Zebra F2

Of the 40 seeds sown I have 13 or 14 that are dwarf in appearance.

What I’m looking for in this cross is a dwarf indeterminate plant with striped fruit.  That is a combination of three genes, two of which are recessive (striped and dwarf), indeterminate growth habit is dominant.

In this generation I’ll focus on the striped and dwarf.  Since that is 2 recessive genes only one out of 16 plants will show these characteristics.  With 10-12 dwarfs two or three should have stripes. I will have to wait a couple more months to find out if my predictions are right!  And, of course, there is the good taste to select for this summer!

If all goes as planned I can get another couple of generations in this year and maybe start distributing these brand new tomatoes in 2014.  Now, what to name them…Hmmmm….

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