sterililty in seeds.

mystic mystic at lcc.net
Sat Nov 13 02:47:51 EST 1999


gwrench wrote:
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> I am interested in the topic that was discussed in my botany class about =
> sterilty of seeds, what is the latest findings on this topic. If my =
> question is to vague I am trying to find out how far technology has come =
> that prevents farmers and etc. from growing plants from seedlings of =
> plants grown the previous year.
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> was discussed=20
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> on this=20
> topic. If my question is to vague I am trying to find out how far =
> technology has=20
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> of plants=20
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There's nothing new about that one.  Generally, commercial crops are
hybrids (sometimes triploid) --  plants especially built to produce a
high yield crop, whether it is tomatoes, cucumbers, or whatever.  These
fruits are disease resistant, fast-growing things, but the price you pay
for the extra produce is a loss of germination rate, if not the nearly
complete loss of seed viability.  There ARE crops that rely on that
year's seed yield for next year's seedlings (cotton comes immediately to
mind), but most farmers would rather have a measurably higher yield than
anything else (that is, after all, why they farm  -- to produce saleable
crops). Besides, the seeds of these hybrid crops will not produce
true-to-type seedlings with the desirable type of fruit.  They will
revert to the parent types, which have less disease resistance and a
smaller yield.  Some companies sell what are called 'heritage' seeds,
which are very old varieties of many different kinds of vegetables, and
these will germinate true-to-type, but the 'heritage' crops have, of
course, a much lower yield than the newer hybrids.  

Appleman




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