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Seed production in Tomato

Tomato seed production

Botany of tomato

Tomato is a typical day neutral plant

It requires temperature of 15‑20° C for fruit setting

Tomato is self pollinated crop

Self fertilization is favoured by the position of receptive stigma within the cone anthers and the normal pendant position of the flower

Method of seed production

Seed to Seed 

Stages of seed production 

1st stage – Breeder seed

2nd stage – Foundation Seed I

3rd stage – Foundation Seed II

4th stage – Certified Seed

You may also like to read our article on tomato cultivation

 

Isolation requirement

Tomato is predominantly a self-pollinated crop but crossing does takes place to a negligible extent.

Seed fields should be isolated from other varieties of tomato by at least 50 and 25m for foundation and certified seed production respectively

Seed source

Seed sources should be approved by appropriate Seed certification agency

Seed rate

Seed Rate used is 500 g per hectare

Best season to grow nursery

Seedling grown in nursery in late October and transplanted in the first week of December

Size of nursery beds

Size of bursery beds for growing seedlings is as follows-

2 to 2.5 m breadth x 1 to 1.25 m length x 15-20 cm height

Beds are 5 to 10 cms apart from each other

Transplanting time of seedlings

Transplant the seedlings when 7.5 – 10 cm height, preferably at evening time

Spacing

Spacing to be followed while transplanting into field

75 x 40 – 50 cm

Field Inspection

Seed crop should be inspected at least three times during the crop season

1. first before flowering

2. second during flowering and fruiting stage and

3. third at mature fruit stage prior to harvesting

Rouging

Observe sach individual plant for checking if it differs in morphological characters

Remove that plant which is found to differ in morphological characters to avoid cross pollination by chance

Also check for diseased plants and remove them as and when found

At maturity, check for fruits and flower colour and remove those off types which differ from desired results

Harvesting

Fruits on turning to ripe red, red and over ripe stages are found to be good for extracting good quality seed

Seed Extraction

Tomato seed can be extracted manually using acid or fermentation methods or mechanically method using axial – flow vegetable seed extraction methods

Seed Yield

100 – 120 kgs/ha

Seed Drying

Seed should be dried by spreading in thin layer on the drying floor

If the temperature exceeds 40 degree C the seed drying shpuld be done under partial shade

Under artificial conditions the seed should be first dried at low temperature and then the temperature should be gradually increased to 40 degree C

Seed moisture level for drying

The seed should be dried to a moisture level of 6-8%

Packaging of seeds

Seeds are packed in cloth bags or moisture proof containers and kept it in cool and dry place

Viability of seeds

Careful and properly dried seed can retain its viability for 2-3 years even under ambient conditions⁸

Hybrid Seed Production in Tomatoes

Process

For hybrid seed production hand emasculation and pollination is carried out.

The male and female parents are sown in separate blocks

For hybrid seed production, the female and male parents are normally planted in the ratio of 12:1 or 12:2

During flowering period buds that are to flower next day are selected in female parent and hand emasculated

After emasculation the flower buds are covered with butter paper bag to avoid pollination or fertilization with foreign pollens

Isolation distance

The isolation distance required are 200 and 100 m for foundation and certified seed class respectively from other varieties and hybrids.

Field Inspection

The number of field inspections required are four

1. The first field inspection should be done before flowering stage

2. second and third during flowering stage and

3  fourth one before harvesting

Roguing

Roguing should be done in both male and female parental line before starting the crossing program

Offtypes can be identified based on morphological characters like leaf shape, plant type, flower color etc.

Harvesting

Harvesting should be done when the fruits are fully mature

Harvest only the crossed fruits and the seed should be extracted manually using acid or fermentation methods or mechanically method using axial – flow vegetable seed extraction methods

Seed standards for variety and hybrid

Seeda standards