2022 Little Easy Bean Network - We Are Beans Without Borders

flowerbug

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But don't be surprised if you still get a pole plant or two, since the flowers on the pole may have crossed again with the flowers on the bushes. Unlikely, unless your bees are very active... but a possibility.

always true out in the garden when you have no absolute control of what is planted in neighbors gardens and have flying pollinators going around, perhaps even sneaking in through gaps in netting or even random mutations at times.

luckily though most beans self-fertilize and have been selected and bred to be pretty stable. :) repeated grow outs and selecting true to type beans can cover a lot of ground.

how many beans do you think you've cleaned up over the years?
 

flowerbug

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Just thinking about Mike Reeske's comment about UC Rio Zape breeding: "To regain all of the original qualities of the Rio Zape bean, the hybrid seeds are planted, and their pollen is used to cross-pollinate a normal Rio Zape parent."

So that final step of using the hybrid seed to pollinate a true Rio Zape will result in beans that look as much like Rio Zape as possible, since true Rio Zape is the mother plant.

There is a slight difference in coloring between UC Rio Zape and Rio Zape, which was explained (somewhere, sorry can't recall where at the moment) by the shorter growing time of UC Rio Zape (true Rio Zape is a little darker).

in my quick read they were trying to get the gene for resistance to a disease incorporated into Rio Zape so the UC version at the end they were repeatedly breeding back to the original Rio Zape and then selecting the resulting beans (using some kind of test). if you keep doing this a long enough time you'll get as close as possible (some genes may be very close together and always passed along together).


@Branching Out I don't think anyone has mentioned recently (and hopefully someone will speak to it), but a bean needs to breed true for something like 3 generations in order to be considered a stable variety.

yes, that's the common quick way, but it may take longer than that for some beans and then again there are chances for either out-crosses or random mutations to come along so you do want to always have some idea of what a variety should look like and cull out beans that are not true to type.
 

meadow

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even sneaking in through gaps in netting
:eek:

LOL! Sorry, couldn't resist. 😆

(for those new to LEBN, I used netting + distance on my Network bush beans last season)

yes, that's the common quick way, but it may take longer than that for some beans and then again there are chances for either out-crosses or random mutations to come along so you do want to always have some idea of what a variety should look like and cull out beans that are not true to type.

I am assuming that the clock doesn't start until you have achieved a true-to-type bean; that it must breed true-to-type for 3 generations.
[eta: Oh! I see what you are saying now.]
 

flowerbug

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:eek:

LOL! Sorry, couldn't resist. 😆

(for those new to LEBN, I used netting + distance on my Network bush beans last season)

haha! i don't recall that, but if you do it i'm sure it can help compared to doing nothing, but in my experience with certain beans even doing nothing they are fairly stable. it depends a lot upon where you are starting with a variety and how many genes it has that are recessive.

one out cross and you won't possibly notice anything and then after a few out crosses you start seeing more variations showing up.


I am assuming that the clock doesn't start until you have achieved a true-to-type bean; that it must breed true-to-type for 3 generations.
[eta: Oh! I see what you are saying now.]

:)

population bottlenecking is what selecting and only planting a few beans of a variety will accomplish but then that also can remove other genes so i'm ok with planting a lot more seeds and selecting from a larger population as long as the overall seeds and plant growth habits are within the right range.

when working with a new out-cross you may be planting seeds from a single plant.
 

Branching Out

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I am ruminating on @heirloomgal's comment that she 'was quite shocked to read in one article that Italy has not catalogued or mapped all their traditional bean varieties', and it got me thinking of something one of my teachers said to me almost 40 years ago. This teacher noticed that the immigrant 'old timers' that she met who had settled in Canada and the U.S. in first half of the last century often spoke an 'old' and rather static version of their mother tongues, because they were isolated from changes that naturally developed in the language over time. She found their spoken language charming, and thought it would be fascinating for students of these languages to interview these folks in order to study their speech patterns, and to document the differences.

This is kind of a strange segue, but it lead me think that those very same immigrants may have a treasure trove of seeds that could possibly have more depth and be more static than the seeds that remain in their homelands. I say this because from my personal experience living abroad in my ancestral homeland in my youth, I was surprised that many locals had abandoned traditions like handing down seeds or even baking traditional cakes and breads once those items became readily available for purchase. This is understandable, because if you were raising a family in Italy in the 1960's you may have thought 'why bother growing my own beans, when I can just purchase a bag of Sarconi beans?' or 'why spend two days baking panettone when I can just walk down to the bakery and pick one up'. It wasn't that they didn't value these things-- it just wasn't necessary to actually do the growing or baking anymore. But that was not the experience for those who left their homeland and had no means of easily purchasing these important cultural items; they had an emotional connection to these scarce resources, and this scarcity made them passionate about preserving these links to their past.

If could be very interesting to have a conversation with local cultural centres from the different nations, to see if they would be willing to put a call out for samples of heirloom beans that might be circulating in their respective communities. It could be a real eye opener to see what's out there.
 

Branching Out

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If you aren't getting a little dropdown option to translate in the upper right corner of your browser screen, then you could always copy/paste the url into google translate.
Thank you-- I copied the link and used a different browser and the drop down menu appeared. Much appreciated.
 

Branching Out

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@Branching Out I don't think anyone has mentioned recently (and hopefully someone will speak to it), but a bean needs to breed true for something like 3 generations in order to be considered a stable variety.
I was wondering about that-- thank you for mentioning it. This is a long game. I am kind of wishing I would have discovered dried beans in my 20's instead of having only found them now.
 

meadow

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I was wondering about that-- thank you for mentioning it. This is a long game. I am kind of wishing I would have discovered dried beans in my 20's instead of having only found them now.
Haha! I can relate!

I had a charming cross in some yellow eye beans this season. These were WAY earlier than yellow eye and I'd like to grow them out to see what they'll do. From the recent discussions here, I'm thinking that I'd better space them out a bit in case they all produce something different (and I don't want them to accidentally cross with each other).

We do have a LOT of pollinator activity here. I've made a bumblebee habitat in our back pasture, not far from the garden(s) but I suspect it is the little flies/bees (not even sure what they are) that may be the most active. Not to mention the honeybees and hummingbirds.
 

Blue-Jay

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@Branching Out I don't think anyone has mentioned recently (and hopefully someone will speak to it), but a bean needs to breed true for something like 3 generations in order to be considered a stable variety.
That's true. 3 generations to truely be considered stable. That's is what J.R. Hepler horticultural professor and plant breeder at the UNH told his friend John Withee at Wanigan Associates.
 

Ridgerunner

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population bottlenecking is what selecting and only planting a few beans of a variety will accomplish but then that also can remove other genes so i'm ok with planting a lot more seeds and selecting from a larger population as long as the overall seeds and plant growth habits are within the right range.

when working with a new out-cross you may be planting seeds from a single plant.
I often am, by choice. When I'm trying to develop a variety (stop those segregations) I try to limit the genetic diversity. I want to eliminate the genetic diversity that keeps it segregating. All other things being equal I try to collect all of the beans I'm going to carry forward from one plant. After I think I have stabilized the "variety" I collect beans from different plants to keep the genetic diversity in the "non-essential to that variety" traits as high as I can. The way I look at it you want a certain genetic diversity to keep the variety vigorous but you don't want genetic diversity that keeps it from being that variety.

Maybe use that Rio Zape breeding program as an example. When they first crossed those two beans to introduce the disease resistance they had a bean very genetically diverse. Each generation they crossed back to a true Rio Zape to eliminate the genetics that kept it from being a Rio Zape except for that disease resistant gene. It sounds like they also kept a shorter growing season and a darker color, but wanted the flavor of the original so they worked toward that.
 

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