Reclaiming Hybrids

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Reclaiming a hybrid is a new way to develop an open-pollinating variety. To backtrack, an open-pollinator is a slightly variable plant individual that is a part of a large population of a specific plant type.

Open-pollinators randomly pollinate with others of its variety and will always breed 'true' whereas hybrids are crosses between different open-pollinator types and will not breed true. hybrids,plant breeding

Those of us who wish to preserve endangered heirloom varieties can buy heritage seeds and plant the heirlooms to save seeds or we can use a new method known as 'reclaiming a hybrid'.

Stable, open-pollinating varieties can be developed by stabilizing hybrids and 'reclaiming' varieties that breed true. This requires time and space for plants.

The process begins by selecting a specific variety of hybrid and crossing them. Offspring are grown and crossed for several generations resulting in extremely variable offspring. Then the selection process begins...

Only those plants with certain desired characteristics are allowed to reproduce and after a few more generations a stable, open-pollinating variety is produced.

This process may sound long and complicated but will only take a few years to accomplish. Supposedly it can be done in 10 to 15 plant generations.


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