Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Green Zebra Hybrid
Question: Are there any F-1 Green Zebra Hybrid tomatoes?

Answer: Yes

Question: Are they available to the average gardener?

Answer: No. Should they be?

Question: How many seeds do you have of a hybrid Green Zebra?

Answer: About 50 seed. But I could make more if the market wanted them.

Question: Would you sell any of those seeds?

Answer: I have a fellow that was part of the early Micro Soft organization - something like #15, I dunno, that wants me to put together a web site that features unusual tomato seeds. I have many hundreds of F-1 hybrid seed of all kinds of tomatoes. But most of them are in quantities of 50 +/- seeds. Would you pay a premium to obtain a Hybrid Green Zebra? Would you be interested in buying one seed so that you can grow out all kinds of F-2 tomato plants? Could you conceive of creating you own Newer New Green Zebra in a selfing program? Would you pay enough to support part of a breeding program so that it can get off the ground?

Question: Maybe. Would you agree to ___ dollars per seed?

Answer: I'm sorry! How much did you say?

The above is conjecturing the inconclusive about sourcing hybrid Green Zebra tomatoes. The expository as follows covers data about the questions and answers.

New Green Zebra is an OP version of my Green Zebra tomato. I believe I sent it out to a few people at various times or the last 15 years. The seed I am extracting this year is F-12, which means it is true breeding – stable- for quite a while now. The original cross was with Green Zebra, a variety I had developed starting nearly 50 years ago and has been stable for 38 years now. The other variety is no longer extant – excepting- my own seed saving.

New Green Zebra – for want of a better name- is basically a look alike Green Zebra – has the trendy recessive genes that personifies the original Green Zebra which is classically a green flesh with green striped tomato fruit. The segregation resulting from selfing the seed was not simple….literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of sibling vines were discarded in the past fifteen years of single seed descent observations. The selection process had little to do with science; however the template of selection by me(Tom Wagner) and other folks had fine-tuned this new clone. The original population was selected from being Yellow Zebras until a single plant segregated for the phenotype of a Green Zebra.

In creating a new strain of Green Zebra; the other parental clone had attributes that undoubtedly contributed to the final product of my New Green Zebra. I compiled a list of traits of the other parent clone. Be assured that many traits of this extant variety has been inherited by the New Green Zebra and I truly think it has one or more of the traits listed 12,13, and 14. I could send in samples of New Green Zebra to a lab that specializes in identifying disease resistances, but that will wait until another day.

1.high yield
2.extremely smooth
3.large red, deep globe shaped fruit
5.uniform fruit with excellent flavor
6.smooth blossom end and shoulders
7.concentrated ripening – medium early
8.light-green shoulder
9.fruit stems are jointed
10.compact vines
11.excellent for shipping
12.Resistance: verticillium wilt race 1
13.-fusarium wilt races 1 and 2
14.-tobacco mosaic virus
15.-gray leaf spot
16.Adaptation: California and the midwestern/southern United States
17.Ripens well as a mature green harvest and also ripens well with ethylene gas

I have a number of plants of the F-1 hybrid between the Green Zebra and New Green Zebra – in the greenhouse and in the field. I have a selected few folks trialling the hybrid as well. The hybrid seems to have more yield, few problems, a semi-determinate vine, and over-all classic Green Zebra traits.

Contingency plans

I have used the New Green Zebra in many crosses to develop germ plasm for future plans of things that could go wrong and/or right. Quite a few of those crosses are now in stable lines and hybrids of these in even further crosses are in post hybrid selfing programs.

Tom Wagner