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Subject:  Shouldn't we be keeping track of the pollinator?

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It seems like it would be very beneficial to know the size of pollinator pumpkin, that specific pumpkin would tell us about the other half of the seed genes from the pollinator pumpkin plant, right now most people seem to only keep record of the seed mother weight, seed grandma weight and seed grandpa weight. Imagine if you planted a 2323.7 Meier 2014 seed and it grew a 2200lb pumpkin that was pollinated by the a Actual 2624.6 Willemijns 2016 plant, that would be an amazing seed but you would never know how good it actually was because it would be labeled as 2200lb name 16 - 2323.7 Meier 2014 X 2145.5 McMullen 2015
, do you see what I mean? that seed would be even more valuable then the 2624.6 Willemijns 2016 seed because it would have 50% of its genes anyway, plus %50 of the 2200lb genes.
---I am new to this so maybe you already do keep track of the pollinator weight? at least I would hope in specific cases like this you would...

2/19/2020 3:08:44 AM

The Gridiot

10,000 BC Younger Dryas 2

There is no official formally annotated way yet although it was suggested by bathabitat (S.Holub). You can glean info from this site or the pumpkinfanatic site or other growers... or directly from the grower whose seed you want to grow. Sometimes the seed auctions will note the info about the pollinator but mostly its a mental exercise to simply remember (Suggestion: write on the seed pack when you find out info about the pollinator... so you don't have to look for it again!)

2/19/2020 3:42:43 AM


Upper Strasburg, PA

Growers have been looking at pollinator performance for a long time. Why is this being thought of as a blind spot in seed selection? Just going by the hypothetical example that is given by the original poster: If a 2200lb pumpkin had been grown on a 2323 Meier seed and pollinated by the Mathias Willemijns world record plant, everyone would know about it and it would be planted by everyone who could get one.

2/19/2020 6:09:55 AM


Westmoreland, KS

I'm not sure if clubs have an official site but you can go here https://tools.pumpkinfanatic.com/ and look up the name of the grower and it will show you all of the pumpkins they grew each year.

So if we take the 2145.5 and look it up it gives us the genetics of the pumpkin. So the cross was the 1756 h/j by the 1625.5 Ganter now if we want to know what Mr. Mcmullen's Ganter seed did that year you just look up the genetics of the 1625 or you look up Mcmullen and see what his Ganter did in 2015.

In this case the 1625 Ganter produced the 800 Mcmullen.

So by looking this up on the site it gives us all of the information that we need. Personally in the off season this is what I do for fun.

2/19/2020 9:20:14 AM


Princeville, IL

I almost always look at the pollinator when selecting orange seeds. Even better if their are pictures of progeny. A lot of really big orange pumpkins seeds do not produce orange with any consistency Sites like pumpkin fanatics let you look down the family tree to see if there are any surprises or potential surprises.

2/19/2020 9:21:19 AM

Orangeneck (Team HAMMER)

Eastern Pennsylvania

Within the last month I have seen it argued on the orange board that the pollinator has no influence over size and weight and that these traits are passed by the female only. The fellow seems pretty well versed in genetics and specifically those related to pumpkins. I had a hard time buying into it but not in a position to dispute the statements either. It’s in my ne of the more recent threads of the Howard dill orange message board for whoever cares to read it. Irischap was their name I believe.

2/19/2020 10:15:25 AM

Orangeneck (Team HAMMER)

Eastern Pennsylvania

* it’s in one of the more recent threads....

2/19/2020 10:16:45 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

Years ago guys were selecting seeds based very heavily on the success of the pollinator. For example the 1385 Jutras was grown by more growers than the the 1689 Jutras.

2/19/2020 1:03:47 PM


Plymouth, MN

tools.pumpkinfanatic.com or a similar resource would have to be revised to capture more details about the pollinating plant and whatever fruit it did or didn't produce. As other suggest, sometimes you can track down the information by seeing which other fruit the same grower got to scale that season (either via diaries, facebook, pumpkin fanatic, etc).

It would be great to have a pedigree that tracked the fate of every seed that's grown to any meaningful extent. Granted you'd be relying on growers to report information about their failures and there are a lot of seeds that don't get grown to any meaningful number, but individual seed tracking could help select against undesirable traits from the gene pool.

2/19/2020 1:57:34 PM


Cheshire Ma USA

as well as the 1161 Rodonis

2/19/2020 4:13:58 PM


Guelph, Ontario

Orangeneck, that was me. I said that in a reciprocal cross, you want the heaviest pumpkin as pod parent. Both parents affect weight of offspring. But if there is a difference in reciprocal crosses the best seeds would be from cross with heaviest parent as pod parent. The disscusion was about what was the best direction to make a cross.

Generally you would expect distribution of genetic potential of a cross to be a random distribution about mean weight of the two parents. (note, "genetic potential", as cultivation plays a major role)The degree of variation about mean (called standard deviation) would depend on the cross.

Of course weight would depend on both parents. But biased towards pod parent ased on inheriting plastid and nmitochondria and their genetics. These are only inherited trough pod parent, and control plant factors more then nuclear genetics.

It can get complicated, but trying to keep it simple.

2/19/2020 8:55:52 PM



Not sure what you mean by the hypothetical example above. Seeds are listed as mother x father not mother x father's mother. In your example it would be listed as 2323.7 x 2624.6 cross not 2323.7x 2145.5 on the fanatic site and auction listings. Orange, pollinator would have influence on potential of seeds grown by the pumpkin that it pollinated, but no influence on the pumpkin itself that it pollinated. Using bushel gourd x long gourd cross as an example, You don't see the resulting caveman gourd cross until you grow the seeds. The fruits grown the year it was pollinated look normal.

2/19/2020 9:25:34 PM


Westmoreland, KS

Aight on my thurd beer just rereading over irischap's comments. I tink i almost understand it! Nope gotta go get my forth!

2/19/2020 11:06:40 PM



Just some food for thoughts: Have a look at the 2145 McMullen and the fruit of the pollinator plant (800 uow). Would people desparately try to get hands on this seed (2145) because of the performance of the pollinator plant? Perhaps (not). The 2145 turned out to be a horribly great seed, even though the fruit on the pollinator plant hasn´t been close to impressive (weight-wise). Therefore, speaking about crosses and reverse crossed my opinion is the following:
- Good performance on both sides of parents doesn´t hurt.
- In case of an uneven couple, the mix 'strong mother + weak father' might be better than 'weak mother + strong father' for two reasons: 1) Mitochondrial DNA has already been mentioned, it comes from the female side and, just in case it had made a contribution to the outstanding growth of the plant and/or fruit, will be contained in the former cross only. 2) Selection: Basically all seeds in the ovaries of the female could become mature seeds, and there will be a genetic diversity amongst them...good and bad ones. Having a mother plant which performes just great could enhance the odds of having great potential on many genes and thus having great genetic potential in many of the seeds to be. It´s a different thing with the pollinator, this plant will also show a diverse distribution of genetic potential amongst the pollen, but (good pollination provided) only a small fraction of pollen will eventually do the deed...and with some higher probability the stronger pollen (perhaps the ones which carry the higher load of good genes) will win the race.

2/20/2020 5:13:34 AM


Upper Strasburg, PA

There’s more to the story with the 800 McMullen, and this is a great example of why it is important for growers to do thorough research when selecting seeds. That 1625 Gantner plant suffered significant damage from Squash Vine Borers, but still produced an 800lb pumpkin. You have to dig deeper than what you see on paper. If you see that one plant produced 2145lbs, while the other produced 800lbs, it’s a good idea to ask the grower what the story was. I liked the cross when I first saw it and wanted more information about that 1625 plant, so I got that information and decided to buy 5 of those 2145 seeds before it grew the world record. That paid off big time. I was able to send one to a long time friend of mine and donate another to a club auction. If something seems a little bit “off” about the pollinator, don’t be shy about asking the grower. Some growers plant seeds specifically to use as pollinators and they don’t even attempt to grow a pumpkin on the plant. A notable example is Steve Daletas planting the 898 Knauss & 1625 Gantner as pollinators over the years. I asked him about his 898 &1625 plants. He said he didn’t think that he could win a weigh-off with those seeds, but he loved what they had to offer as pollinators. That’s why you see several of his seeds featuring those pollinators, but no record of what the pollinating plants produced/ it’s not because those 898 & 1625 seeds were duds.

2/20/2020 11:46:58 AM


@Iowa, on the fanatic site , the pollinator listed isn't the actual pollinator plant, its the offspring of that plant. It seems some other people don't realize that either. and yes I know the cross has no effect on the mother pumpkin, the gene mix is carried over into the seed, my point of the post is that those seeds have half the genes of the pollinator plant, but nobody really knows what the pollinator plant was like, all they know is where the seed of the pollinator came from, the cross is listed as 2323.7x 2145.5 even tho the actual pollinator plant would be the 2624.6, that information isn't recorded, that's my point, we should try to record that when possible.

2/20/2020 3:43:31 PM


@TruckinPunkin, Maybe for every plant we should assign a number for it, like a 1 to 10, 1 being grown in worst condition with least care and 10 being grown in best conditions with best care and perfect health, maybe make a chart that will tell you how to estimate the number that you should assign to it, so in the case with the 8oolb plant, it could be listed as 800lb 4 McMullen, and then everyone would know the environmental condition was a 4, that if it still grew to 800lbs then that's great, if it was listed as a 9 then you would know its not great genes. anyway this could greatly help in the breeding process.

2/20/2020 3:57:50 PM

Smallmouth (Team Ozark)


No, I see it as the pollinator plant would be the 2145, and it's offspring on that specific 2145 is the 2624. What would be noted is that pollinator plant grew the 2624.

2/20/2020 4:16:01 PM



Yeah, I misread the original question. Agree pollinator would be 2145 in your example. To Trunkins point don't know that the fruit of that particular pollinator makes it any more of an indicator of seed potential though due to grower and growing conditions. The overall track record of the pollinator gives you a better indication.

2/20/2020 6:50:06 PM


Guelph, Ontario

Actually, we record to grandparents in the genealogy. So saying 2145 as pollen parent does not say anything about what that father was like, only what the grandparent was like.

Every single seed grown from 2145 as pollen parent will be different, and saying pollen parent was 2145 does not say anything about actual pollen parent, other then what its parents were.

So I agree, we should have information about it Sometimes you see it, but should be more information recorded

2/20/2020 9:02:42 PM


Upper Strasburg, PA

I don’t think we could accurately scale every plant on a 1-10. Every grower would be self-reporting. Maybe just notate the weight of the pollinator’s offspring in parentheses. For example: 2145 McMullen 1756 Howell-Jolivette x 1625 Gantner (800)

2/20/2020 11:15:39 PM


Guelph, Ontario

TruckinPunkin I like that suggestion But add colour as well.

Important for those looking for orange breeding

2/21/2020 3:20:23 AM


Long Island,New York

In still miss the AGGC.

2/21/2020 10:23:24 AM


@TruckinPunkin There would need to be a chart to follow that tells you how to grade the plant 1 would be if you just put the plant in un-worked soil and just let it grow and the plant had disease, pest issues, late start, bad weather, damage, ect... A 10 would be "perfect conditions" perfectly balanced and tilled soil, no disease, no pest, regular warm watering, perfect weather, ect... Basically no one would be able to put a 10, maybe someone could put a 9.5 if they really felt it was given the best conditions possible, This isn't meant to be an exact science, the numbers wont be perfectly accurate but it would give you a general idea of the living conditions of the plant. If a 2000lb pumpkin is labeled a 9 and the same grower has a 1900lb pumpkin labeled with a 5, the 1900lb seeds might be more desirable. Anyway this is just an idea, and it could be altered, maybe a 3 digit number that tells you 3 different aspects of the growing conditions, I just think more information we have the better we can breed the plant.

2/21/2020 1:09:55 PM



I agree Glenn the AGGC was an excellent resource. It's too bad BP.com didn't take it over, and we could access it through this site(I'm not saying this was ever an option). As an orange grower, the pictures on the AGGC really helped in deciding what seeds to grow.

2/21/2020 8:43:42 PM


Upper Strasburg, PA

Pumpkin Fanatic has information fields for a lot of the information we’re talking about. It’s just dependent on the grower to go in and update it.

2/21/2020 10:34:28 PM

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