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Squash backcross to a parent or self F1s?

Posted by jmsieglaff (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 22:31


I'm starting a vining summer squash breeding project this summer and I'm looking for opinions regarding what to do with my F1 after this summer. Details about the project are below--but the long and short of it are do I backcross the F1 to one of the parents or self the F1 and grow out the F2?

The point of this project is to obtain the vining habit, vigor, and insect resistance of Tatume and the color, flavor, and production from the lemon squash (the flavor and production of Tatume wasn't bad--the lemon just a bit better). The other reason for this project is just for fun.

So my plan this year (2014) is to cross lemon squash with tatume squash (female) and save those seeds. As of now I'm planning on in 2015 planting the F1 seeds and backcrossing to Tatume (again female). I'll plant out the F1 x Tatume cross in 2016 and begin selecting for vining habit and yellow squash color (which should be 1/4 of the plants in 2016). Things probably won't be terribly exciting, at least until 2016 because the F1 that I will grow out in 2015 I suspect will all have Lemon squash habit (semi-bush) and yellow fruit (at least if my assumption of simple dominance is right and that bush is dominate to vine habit and yellow fruit dominate to green). Over the years I hope to get a stable OP variety.

The other option is to self the F1 in 2015 and grow out the F2 in 2016 and select for vining yellow squash (3/16 of the plants).

The reason I'm not completely sold on the backcrossing to Tatume and thinking about the other method is 1) both varieties are already good squash, so it's not like I need to avoid the Lemon squash genetics, 2) vining yellow is 3/16 or 1/4 depending on the approach so no gain for all practical purposes, and 3) if nothing else the variety of growing out selfed F1s might be interesting.

I'm sure I'll learn a lot along the way and probably need to shift gears as I go, but in the end I'm hoping to having a vigorous vining summer squash that produces good amounts of yellow squash with good flavor.

Any thoughts?

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