Successes in home breeding

dutchbreedertJuly 13, 2007

Anyone got any success stories, managed to turn some home created varieties into cold hard cash?

Personally I just started with petunia breeding, as this is fairly easy. I don't think i will ever get any cash out of this, but i would like to know people's personal experiences on this matter. Especially on what steps are needed to get your variety commercialized.

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maineman(z5a ME)


Thompson & Morgan solicit new varieties from home growers. However, I am unclear whether they pay any thing for them.

I am an amateur zinnia breeder, but I do it as an interesting hobby, and not for any expected financial gain.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 12:20AM
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I circumvented the seed industry altogether and worked with a few growers that sold plants only via mail order.

Created my own isogenic line to create a tomato hybrid named "Purple Haze"

I didnt personally benefit from it. The growers kept their costs and the other money received was donated to autism charieties.

It was not just this line but a few other inbreds too which raised a few thousand that went to various national and local autism non-profit groups.

Had there been a little more marketing/promo and more seeds it likey would have made even more. What was available quickly sold out.
In the future I hope to partner with more growers or just do so myself.

If I make the crosses myself I can control the inbreds and avoid the expense of PVP which now favors larger companies who can afford the nearly $5000 application fee. Probably never get to where I am supplying larger farms but that is not my target breeding objectives or market anyway.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 2:18PM
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mephisto(z5b MA)

Well, a "thread" that's been around, inactive a while, but "such a pertinent" subject is it least to those of us who, as the author specifies, are participating admittedly at least somewhat for business reasons.

I mean, if a person can be in such things, for the enjoyment and experience or something, fine..while if otherwise minded, or open or interested in more, then equally, why not? isn't it?

Much as I prefer or probably "would" (ideally) my gardening pursuits or at least those that go beyond direct, bread on the table employment (various plant related ones in myt case), one of my extra involvements is definitely aimed for the commercial side of things. If it -- a disease-curing-via-immunity effort, ultimately succeeds it;d look like a commercial thing anyway, so why not partly for me as the originator in the first place? I think there are "quite naturally" many of us in the position of being mindful sometimes, of the commercial side.
And I've discovered just now, the existence of at least one plant development company--in fact openly inviting submissions of material for no-cost development/promotion by them, with income apparently to be shared later. Assuming others may be interested, then if advised permissable, I'd be glad to post its name, URL, hint how to find it, or whatever--been somewhat of a long time, since I"ve posted here, and am concerned about breaking rules (or being thought a promoter or related party of the site I refer--which I'm not).

Additionally, would love feedback on what others might think of my own, very active effort, such as, as what you might notice or see regarding it, going by anything relevant (your own experience, knowledge, etc).

It's a long ongoing project to try, based mostly on my efforts to innoculate a certain small fruit bush to a disease pathogen that troubles it, and evaluate resistance and proceed to try to prove the resistance. The ultimate goal is one or specimens of full immunity, which seems could have commercial potential as source of whatever's in it (genetically; a specific gene I think) for then, transferring into commercial varieties (cultivars) of this fruit.

I've just written to a couple of entities, one of them being our (USA) University based "Experiment Stations" working specifically with the genera of plants which my experimental plant lies in.
Written because by now, I have some specimens that have been symptom free under heavy disease pressure, for long enough, that it definitely seems time to get a recognized agency involved doing further or final tests. One would simply be lab review of tissue material from my plants, to prove or disprove absence of this disease. Has reportedly been done before, with this very , exact disease.

But, assuming optimistically they answer with some offer: is that going to prove to be an offer of services for a fee? Or the partnering I hinted at?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:40PM
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"And I've discovered just now, the existence of at least one plant development company--in fact openly inviting submissions of material for no-cost development/promotion by them, with income apparently to be shared later."

That "with income apparently to be shared later" part is a little suspicious. The saying that "a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it is written on" might apply here.

I am a hobbyist who breeds zinnias for fun. If it ever quits being fun, I will quit it.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:17AM
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keking(z6 TN)

I am reminded of the famous statement of Samuel Johnson; "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." I suppose he might have had a similar opinion of plant breeding, though I disagree.

Breeding for disease resistance is very desirable, and sometimes profitable. Dr. Walter Lammerts was a university geneticist making around $1800 per year. He left academia when he found he could make $5000 each year selling seeds of his rust-proof snapdragons. (Or so I've read.)

That was a long time ago, but the possibility still exists for anyone willing to ship seeds by mail. Ads in gardening magazines and an inexpensive web page are all that one needs to get started - as well as a bunch of envelopes and stamps, of course, and a moist tongue to lick the stamps.

Most gardeners look for disease resistant strains and cultivars, and fuss with sprays and such to prevent infections. A breeder, on the other hand, has good reason to seek out disease-prone types to provide a source of infection - to test seedlings.

One of the reasons the Hybrid Teas replaced the Hybrid Perpetuals so rapidly was their resistance to red-rust.

This doesn't always work, though. Pathogens have their races and strains, just like our garden plants. Pernet had never heard of black-spot, and had no idea that his Pernetiana roses were susceptible to that disfiguring disease when grown in other regions.

Then there is the lovely rose 'Tropicana', which was regarded (1985) as the most disease-resistant variety among the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. Today it is regarded as a "mildew magnet" because it is susceptible to a particular strain of mildew in some areas.

So, breeding for disease resistance can be like shooting at a moving target. Specific (or genetic) disease resistance is more likely be defeated by evolving pathogens than the "old fashioned" vigor-related resistance. Vigorous cultivars and strains tend to resist infection better and recover more quickly.

One way to select for improved vigor is to crowd the plants. Those that manage to grow and bloom despite crowding are bound to be more vigorous and disease resistant than their weaker siblings when given more room.


Here is a link that might be useful: Hybrid Teas and Hybrid Perpetuals

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:45AM
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This is my favorite hybrid Grape.
Saint Pepin x Alden- an early ripening muscat grape with good disease resistance, "In Western WA.", and a decent muscat flavor.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 2:15PM
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