Cream of the Crop Tomatoes
Please make plans now to visit our 2018 summer trials to evaluate our new F1 hybrids and O.P. varieties under the brand name Cream of the Crop Tomatoes™. These new products will include tomatoes of all sizes and colors, many with stripes and/or unusual combinations of skin vs. flesh coloration.
This traditional breeding program started with about a dozen heirloom types and a few newer O.P. varieties with striped fruit. In the last several years the first generation breeding lines were crossed to a handful of new commercial hybrids to improve fruit quality, shelf life and disease resistance. We are now using marker assisted selection to facilitate introgression of multiple disease resistance genes into breeding lines with exceptional flavor.
Outdoor breeding nurseries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Minnesota have allowed multiple generations of selection for exceptional flavor and fruit quality combined with tolerance to moderate/severe biotic and abiotic stresses, which has made a significant contribution to overall plant health. A winter nursery at the University of Wisconsin give us the ability to advance generations each year.
BREEDING PROJECT OVERVIEW:
● Stabilizing new parent lines with exceptional flavor, fruit quality and plant health.
● F1 test crosses between elite parent lines to identify specific combinations that give heterosis for both flavor and fruit yield.
● Field and greenhouse testing of first generation F1 hybrids.
● The use of marker assisted selection to develop novel parent lines with resistance to the following diseases:
- Tomato/tobacco mosaic viruses
- Tomato spotted wilt virus
- Tomato yellow leaf curl virus
- Verticillium wilt
- Fusarium wilt (races 1-3)
- Late blight (races 1-3)
- Leaf mold (multiple races)
● Evaluation of various Extended Shelf Life (ESL) genes (e.g. rin) that may allow a 10+ day increase in shelf life without a significant negative effect on fruit flavor.